The Rochester Knighthawks remain alive in the hunt for the third and final playoff spot in the East Division after a 15-13 victory over the New England Black Wolves Saturday night.
“We just stayed level-headed,” Knighthawks forward Dan Dawson said. “We didn’t let them go on big runs and that was the biggest change in our game. We had our own run, but we limited their opportunities tonight.”
Dawson had his best night of the season with four goals and two helpers to assist in the home win. Joe Resetarits extended his scoring streak to 16 games with his two goals and two assists. Jordan Dance chipped in with three assists in his home debut and Marty Hill collected a pair of assists in his pro debut.
Rochester also received a career-high seven-point effort from rookie Dan Lomas, who scored three goals and added four assists.
“He had a great night that started with his first couple of shifts,” said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. “He came up in transition and had a great game.”
More impressively, Rochester got production from its defense. Ian Llord netted a career-high two goals to go along with an assist, while Paul Dawson and Graeme Hossack each posted two points (1+1).
“It was a great win and now we’ve got to transfer that energy over to next week,” said Llord. “We’ve got to have a good practice this week and go work hard against Georgia.”
The game was tight throughout the night with five ties and neither leading by more than three goals at any point.
“It was a fun game and we weren’t taking ‘no’ for an answer,” Lomas said. “All the guys came out and played the best that they could and it was a great result for us.”
Lomas scored two first-quarter goals to give the Knighthawks a 6-4 lead after one quarter. His final tally of the night was shorthanded and gave Rochester a 13-10 lead early in the final frame. In the fourth, Lomas also assisted on Dawson’s goal at 7:55, which proved to be the game-winner.
“It’s the only way we’re going to win,” said Dawson. “We need contributions from everyone and it was nice to see Dan (Lomas) answer and do what he did in transition. You’ve got to have fast scoring in transition, on extra-man opportunities and five-on-five and we did that tonight.”
Rochester will close out the regular season next weekend with a home and home series against the Georgia Swarm. The Knighthawks must win both games to keep their playoff hopes alive, and get a Vancouver win over the Black Wolves.
“We’re excited for it,” Lomas said. “They’re the best team and you’ve got to beat the best team in order to be the best team. If we want to take this all the way, which we believe we can with the guys in that locker room, we’ve got to beat them twice.”
“When we leave the dressing room, we have to have our whole mindset on Georgia,” added Dawson. “They’ve had an amazing season and we know we need help getting in. The reality is we know we don’t control anything outside of our locker room and we’re going to focus on winning these two games.”