The Knighthawks lost of the Philadelphia Wings for the first time since 2010 on Saturday. It could be argued that perhaps the Wings were “due for one” but the fact Rochester couldn’t even break 10 goals against a team they scored 20 against just a few weeks ago should say something.
Rochester actually held a 4-0 lead after the first quarter. Players were cutting to the net and flat out beating the Wings defenders early on. Then their strategy reverted back to what they had been doing for the rest of the season thus far, taking outside shots and making too many passes, and surprise! They weren’t able to score anymore!
Philadelphia slowly but surely crawled back into contention. They tied it up before the Knighthawks scored again off a great individual effort by Casey Powell. Johnny Powless then added a power play goal for Rochester to give them a 6-4 lead going into halftime.
But the third quarter was all Philly and the Wings scored four straight – the only goals of the quarter. Now Rochester was suddenly trailing in the fourth. Another pair of goals from Powell and Powless tied it back up, but the Knighthawks weren’t score again (even with Vinc pulled for the extra attacker). Drew Westervelt scored Philadelphia’s game winning goal on the power play and then Brodie Merrill added insult to injury with an empty net goal with one second left on the clock.
Although Matt Vinc made 44 saves and the Knighthawks defense played relatively well, Rochester’s offense simply wasn’t able to score enough goals. Stephen Keogh was completely invisible. Both Keogh and Mike Accursi were held pointless. Dan Dawson also had another disappointing game with just two assists. His brother Paul actually had more goals than he did. How often does that happen?
If you take away the two awesome games Rochester played during their back-to-back weekend in Week Six, Rochester averages a pathetic 8.8 goals per game. At that point, it doesn’t matter how good Vinc plays. He currently leads the NLL in goals against average, saves, and save percentage, but Rochester is going to keep losing unless they can figure out how to score.
Technically, Rochester should have won this game against Philadelphia. The refs called back one of Casey Powell’s goals that actually looked good on the replay. Then later in the game, Philadelphia scored a goal which should have been called a crease violation, but wasn’t. Hasen had no challenges left so the goal just stood. That two-goal swing would mean that Rochester would have won (Merrill’s empty netter wouldn’t have happened if Rochester was winning by one).
Rochester now has a 3-5 record and have fallen back into last place in the East with the loss. They face John Grant Jr. and the Colorado Mammoth at the Pepsi Center next week. Colorado has a 2-5 record.