January 9, 2010

Dream Team: Grant, Gait Go Off in Hawks' Opener

Week 1 Coverage

* Scoreboard
* Roughnecks Pick Up Where They Left Off
* Titans Top Wings in Orlando Debut
* Rock Scorches Blazers in Season Opener
* Grant, Gait Dazzle in Dream Team Debut for Knighthawks
* Stealth Pulls Mammoth in Everett Debut

from press release

John Grant Jr. and Gary Gait served notice to the National Lacrosse League on Saturday. They combined for 13 points in their first pro game together, as the Rochester Knighthawks defeated the Buffalo Bandits, 10-5, in front of 8,192 fans at The Blue Cross Arena.

Grant, who missed the entire 2009 season due to knee surgeries, led the way with two goals and six assists. He now stands just four goals shy of reaching the 400-goal plateau. Gait chipped in three goals and two assists. Goalie Pat O’Toole was also stellar in goal, making 42 saves and holding Buffalo to one second-half goal. Rochester was also deadly on the power play, going 4-for-5.

Buffalo was led by a three-point effort from Mark Steenhuis. Buffalo was limited to just five goals without the presence of the league’s all-time leading scorer, John Tavares, who was scratched. Goalie Ken Montour stopped 46 Rochester shots in the loss.

Rochester opened the 2010 season with a 3-0 run as Gait, Shawn Evans and Grant scored in a 5:21 span. The first goal was one that Grant, who grew up idolizing Gait, won’t soon forget. Grant fed Gait at 1:34 of the first quarter.

Buffalo, however, responded with two goals in 22 seconds to cut the lead to 3-2 and get their fans back in the game. The two goals were part of a 4-0 Buffalo run to take a 4-3 lead at 4:18 of the second quarter. The lead was short-lived as Gait (two) and Grant (one) scored the next two goals to stake Rochester to a 5-4 advantage and spark a 4-0 run of their own. The Knighthawks held a 7-4 halftime lead. Cory Bomberry registered the K-Hawks' seventh goal, which was his first in a Rochester uniform since March 29, 2003.

The second quarter belonged to the Knighthawks, as Rochester notched one goal in the third and two in the fourth. Buffalo scored one goal at 5:20 of the quarter and was held scoreless for the past 24:40.

With the win, Rochester now leads the all-time series with a mark of 23-14, which includes a 15-5 record at home. Rochester also improved to 8-8 on opening night and 8-8 in home openers. The victory was their first home-opening win since they defeated Toronto 10-6 on Jan. 13, 2007.

Rochester hits the road for a three-game road trip that makes stops in Buffalo, Toronto and Orlando. The first road game is set for Saturday,  Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at HSBC Arena.

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