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01/21/2013 - 2:53pm

By Travis Larner -- The Rochester Knighthawks took on their longtime intrastate rivals, the Buffalo Bandits, in front of 7,834 at The Blue Cross Arena in Saturday’s home opener. The tilt was the 46th regular-season meeting between the two storied NLL franchises. (Photos by Larry Palumbo)

With 11.8 seconds remaining in regulation, Buffalo’s Tracey Kelusky scooped up a loose ball in front of the crease and fired a behind-the-back shot between Rochester goaltender Matt Vinc’s legs with only one second left on the shot clock.

The Knighthawks (0-2) gained possession on the ensuing faceoff, but were unable to pull out a miracle in the remaining 3.4 seconds, falling 14-13, their second one-goal loss in as many games.
Leading the Rochester offense was former NLL MVP Casey Powell. In his season debut, the veteran netted two goals and added four assists. His assist on Dan Dawson’s third-quarter goal, his third helper of the night, was his 600th career point. Powell scored the Knighthawks’ first goal of the game on the power-play at 5:31.

“[Powell] was shooting the ball very well in shootaround so it was good to see he got a few goals there,” said Head Coach Mike Hasen. “He was going hard and getting after those loose balls, getting physical. We need guys to lead, and when an older guy like Casey plays like that, we’ll just jump on board and ride his coattails.”

“Did you expect anything less?” Cody Jamieson asked. “He’s a guy every lacrosse player knows about, every lacrosse player grows up looking up to. I got to play with him with the Hamilton Nationals, so I’ve seen what he can do, but it is awfully great to be out on the floor with him.”

Last year’s two first round draft picks continued their goal-scoring streaks. Johnny Powless and Stephen Keogh extended their streaks to seven consecutive games. Keogh led all Rochester scorers with a hat trick, while Powless netted his only goal with two seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

Three Knighthawks drew closer to milestones with their performance on Saturday. Craig Point earned three points (2+1), and now has 149 career points as a Knighthawk, while Jamieson is two points short of the 150-point plateau after a five-point game (1+4) versus Buffalo. Dan Dawson scored his first goal of the season in a four-point performance (1+3). He is now three goals shy of his 350th career goal.

Saturday’s game was Vinc’s 100th game of his career. Now in his eighth season, the two-time NLL Goaltender of the Year is also within reach of two more goalie milestones. He is 40 saves shy of 3,500. This Saturday, January 26th, the Knighthawks host the Toronto Rock at 7:30 p.m. Last time Vinc faced the Rock—the semifinal match that propelled Rochester into the Champion’s Cup—he made 51 saves.

The Knighthawks hold a 15-3 all-time record against Toronto at The Blue Cross Arena. The game will air live on ESPN3, and on TSN2 in Canada. Fans can also listen to the game live on Sportsradio 950 ESPN and online at

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