Rochester Edges Buffalo To Make NLL Finals
from Press Release
The Rochester Knighthawks defeated the Buffalo Bandits by a score of 13-8 in Game Two of the NLL East Division Finals and won 2-1 in sudden death overtime in the following mini-game in front of 8,651 fans at the Blue Cross Arena on Saturday night. The back-to-back NLL champion Knighthawks, who now face the West winner Calgary Roughnecks, will attempt to become the first team in league history to win three-straight titles.
The Knighthawks struck first on a goal by Cory Vitarelli. The Bandits stormed right back, scoring three in a row, one by Ryan Benesch and two by Dhane Smith. Rochester responded with a three goal run of their own to take a 4-3 lead on goals from Johnny Powless and two from Dan Dawson. Buffalo tied it at four on a goal from Jamie Rooney which is how the first quarter ended.
The Knighthawks dominated the second quarter, reeling off five straight goals to take a 9-5 lead. Cody Jamieson scored two straight to start the run, then Powless finished his hat trick with two consecutive goals, and Joel McCready tallied the ninth Knighthawk goal of the game. The Bandits struck back on the power play to come within four on a Mark Steenhuis goal. Stephen Keogh, the guilty Knighthawk on that power play, got his revenge shortly after to restore the five goal lead, 10-5. That score remained at half time.
The third quarter was defensive with only one goal per team. Scott Campbell created a turnover and took it the distrance to increase the Knighthawks lead to 11-5. John Tavares answered four minutes later to close the gap.
The fourth quarter featured two goals by each team. McCready and Jamieson scored for the Knighthawks around two Bandit goals from Smith and Rooney.
After the Knighthawks defeated the Bandits in the full game, the new 10 minute mini-game took effect. Joe Resetarits opened the scoring for the Bandits, but McCready tied the game at 1 for the Knighthawks. That would be all the scoring in the 10 minutes, which meant sudden death overtime was needed.
Cory Vitarelli, the man who opened the night's scoring, ended it 2:52 into sudden death on a top-corner shot while on a fast-break to send the Knighthawks to their third-straight finals appearance.
The Roughnecks will host Game One at Scotiabank Saddledome next weekend on Saturday, May 24 at 9 p.m. ET before the series shifts to Rochester for Game Two at Blue Cross Arena at 8 p.m. ET.
Three Stars of Game Two as selected by the media:
1) Cody Jamieson
2) Matt Vinc
3) Joe Resetarits
First Star of mini-game:
1) Cory Vitarelli
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