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01/15/2013 - 1:56pm

The Rochester Knighthawks will play their home opener on Saturday, January 19th against the rival Buffalo Bandits at 7:30 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. The Knighthawks will raise their championship banner before the game. Fans can catch the game on Sportsradio 950 ESPN, online at or through a mobile device by downloading the TuneIn app. The game will also be televised on the Time Warner Cable Sports Channel and aired live on The Lacrosse Network.

Home Opening Nights: Rochester owns a 9-9 all-time record in home openers. The Knighthawks have dropped their last two openers on their home turf, recording the last home-opening night victory in 2010 against the Bandits.

Head-to-Head: Rochester leads the all-time regular season series with a 26-19 record. The Knighthawks also have a 16-8 mark at home against Buffalo. The game Saturday is the first of four times the Western New York lacrosse rivals will play each other this season.

Knighthawks Notes: Rochester opened the season with a tough 13-12 loss to the Washington Stealth on January 5th. Cody Jamieson finished with a goal and four assists, while Johnny Powless scored twice on two shots on goal, including a behind-the-back goal in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 12. He also earned three assists. Dating back to last season, Powless and Stephen Keogh are both on a team-high six-game goal scoring streak. Rochester native Joe Walters tied his career high with two goals and four points. He continued where he finished off last season, and earned’s second star of the week award. Cory Vitarelli led the team in goals scored with three to him a hat trick in three of his last four games. Defenseman Scott Campbell celebrated playing in his 100th career game by netting an unassisted goal. In goal, Matt Vinc matched his season-high save total from 2012 in the loss, denying 51 of 64 shots faced for a .797 save percentage. He also posted the same stat line against the Toronto Rock in the 17-13 semifinal victory which propelled the Knighthawks into the Champion’s Cup Finals. He was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Week for his effort in Week 1.

Milestone Watch:
• Casey Powell is five points away from 600.
• Dan Dawson is four goals away from 350.
• Mike Kirk is three games away from 100.
• Matt Vinc is one game away from 100.

Joe Knighthawk: Rochester was 5-0 at home with Joe Walters in the lineup last season. He had four goals and 15 assists in those games.

Welcome and Welcome Back: On January 5th, Rochester welcomed the arrival of the Dawson brothers (Dan and Paul) and the return of Joel McCready. Former NLL MVP Dan Dawson made his Rochester debut and earned four helpers. Dawson, who has 875 career points, is currently four goals away from his 350th career goal. Suiting up for Rochester for the first time since the 2011 season, McCready finished with an assist, two forced turnovers and a team-best six loose balls. On January 19th, the team also expects the return of Casey Powell. Powell, who was the 2010 NLL MVP, enters his 10th season of professional lacrosse and his third season with the Knighthawks.

Bandits Notes: Buffalo enters the contest after a tough opening weekend, which included two games in two nights. The Bandits opened the season with a 13-8 road loss to the Philadelphia Wings on January 11th. The Bandits then returned home to host the Minnesota Swarm the following night. Buffalo erased a three-goal fourth quarter deficit to defeat Minnesota 13-12, outscoring the Swarm 6-3 in the final frame. The ageless wonder John Tavares (1+4) and Chad Culp (3+2) each finished the game with five points. The 44-year-old Tavares is the league’s all-time leader in goals (739), assists (842) and (1,581) points. Rookie Dhane Smith also had a big game, scoring his first professional hat trick as part of a four-point effort. For the second straight night, Kurtis Wagar replaced starter Anthony Cosmo. Wagar earned the victory, making 12 saves and allowing just six goals in 49 minutes of work.

Next Game: The Knighthawks will host the Toronto Rock on Saturday, January 26th at 7:30 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. Fans can catch the game on Sportsradio 950 ESPN and online at The game will also be televised live on the Time Warner Cable Sports Channel.

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