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KNIGHTHAWKS HOST BUFFALO IN BATTLE FOR SECOND PLACE
02/15/2013 - 9:17am

(February 15, 2013)… The Rochester Knighthawks and Buffalo Bandits will meet for the third time in seven games Saturday night. The 7:30 p.m. contest will be broadcast on Sportsradio 950 ESPN and online at www.sportsradio950espn.com. The games will be also carried live on YouTube via The Lacrosse Network.

Head-to-Head: The Knighthawks lead the all-time series against the Bandits with a 27-20 record. Since 2011, the Knighthawks are 3-5 against Buffalo.

Last Weekend: The Knighthawks earned two decisive victories in their first weekend of back-to-back games in the 2013 NLL season. With a 20-10 win over Philadelphia on February 8th and a 15-7 victory over Buffalo on February 9th, the Knighthawks (3-3) evened their record at .500 and moved into a tie for second place in the East Division with the Bandits. After scoring a combined 39 points in the first four games of the season, the Knighthawks exploded for 35 over the weekend. Rochester currently leads the league in goals scored in a single game (20) and largest margin of victory in a game (10). Also, the 35 goals is the most over a two-game span since Rochester scored 36 in victories over Chicago and New York on March 17, 2007 and March 24, 2007 respectively.

Danger Zone: Against the Wings on Friday, former Philadelphia forward “Dangerous” Dan Dawson scored a season-best 11 points (4+7), doubling his total points from the first four games. His third goal of the game was his 350th career goal. After adding five more points (1+4) against Buffalo, Dawson is now only two points shy of 900.

No Mercy: Mike Accursi gave Philadelphia “no mercy” with a four-goal performance. The 16-year pro currently has 375 goals and is five points away from 800. Joe Walters set a career-high with four assists and five points against the Wings.

Jammer Time: Cody Jamieson recorded 16 points (5+11) over the weekend, including a career-high seven assists against the Bandits. He is five assists away from his 100th. He currently leads Rochester with 12 goals and 33 points. He earned NLL Offensive Player of the Week honors for his two-game performance.

Knighthawks Notes: Cory Vitarelli scored a team-high four goals against the Bandits on February 9th. His diving one-timer off a behind-the-back feed from Stephen Keogh was ranked seventh on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays from Saturday. Speaking of Keogh, he added 10 points (5+5) over the weekend. Casey Powell surpassed a career milestone in Buffalo on Saturday night as well. The 10-year veteran earned his 350th assist on Keogh’s second-quarter goal. He finished with five points (1+4) against the Bandits and eight (3+5) on the weekend. 19-year-old Johnny Powless scored once in each game, extending his goal-scoring streak to a team-high 11 games, dating back to last season. Defensemen also contributed greatly to the scoring action. Defenders accounted for 15 points (4+11) in the two games combined. Brad Self led all defensemen with six points (1+5). Tyler Burton entered the weekend with two career goals, but doubled that total with one in each game. Dylan Evans (0+2), Mike Kirk (0+2) and Ian Llord (0+1) all earned their first points of the season.

‘VNO’ says No: Goaltender Matt Vinc was stellar in net, making 97 saves on 114 shots. He won his 50th game against the Wings and shutout Buffalo in the first quarter. In both games, he only surrendered two first-half goals. Vinc leads the league with a .812 save percentage, and in Rochester’s three-game win streak, Vinc has a .858 save percentage with an average of eight goals against.

These Knighthawks are nearing career milestones:
• Craig Point is one point away from 150 as a Knighthawk;
• Dan Dawson is two points shy of 900;
• Mike Accursi is five points away from 800;
• Cody Jamieson is five assists shy of 100.

Ted Nolan a Winner…Again: Former NHL Coach of the Year and Rochester Knighthawks Special Advisor to the President Ted Nolan has won at every level. He can now add international hockey to his resume after leading Latvia to a berth in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Latvia became the last team to qualify for Sochi on Sunday. Nolan led Latvia to wins over Britain, 6-2, and Kazakhstan, 3-2, and lost 3-2 to France in overtime but won Group E on its home ice in Riga. Nolan won the 1996-97 Jack Adams Trophy as NHL Coach of the Year while with the Buffalo Sabres. Nolan last coached in the NHL from 2006-08, serving a two-year stint on Long Island and leading the Islanders to the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs. At the junior hockey level, he guided the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to three straight Memorial Cup berths as Ontario Hockey League champions and captured the 1993 Memorial Cup title. In 2005-06, he led Moncton to its first-ever President’s Cup as QMJHL champion. He has worked with the Knighthawks since July 1, 2009, which also included two seasons as the Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Rochester Americans. Nolan won his first Champion’s Cup ring in 2012 with the Knighthawks, while his son Jordan won a Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings.

Isn’t that Special: Rochester special teams played a major role in the win over Buffalo on February 9th. The Knighthawks were 3-of-6 on the power play, including two goals on a five-minute high-sticking major by David Brock. On the other hand, they killed all six penalties, blanking the Buffalo power-play unit while scoring shorthanded in the first quarter. Rochester leads the NLL in short-handed defense, killing over 64% of its penalties.

Bandits Notes: Buffalo enters the game on a two-game losing streak, having dropped back-to-back divisional games to Toronto and Rochester. Last Saturday against the Knighthawks, Aaron Wilson led the Bandits with two goals and one assist, while David Brock notched his second two-goal game of the season. Wilson and Dhane Smith (0-1) each extended their team-leading point streaks to six games.  Carter Bender also scored a goal in his pro debut. Shawn Williams, who entered the contest with 19 points in his last three games, was held without a point in the loss to Rochester. The Bandits were also blanked on the power play, going 0-for-6. Buffalo has now converted only three of its last 12 chances. This week, Buffalo signed goalie Scott Komer to serve as the backup goalie after an injury to Kurtis Wagar.

Next Game: On Saturday, February 23rd, Rochester hosts the Philadelphia Wings at 7:30 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. The Knighthawks will hold their Annual Kids Day at The Blue Cross Arena. Starting at 4:00 p.m., kids can enjoy laser tag, inflatables, a magician, face painters and air brush tattoos. Plus, one family will win a $320 birthday package from Kango. The Knighthawks are offering a FREE youth ticket with the purchase of a $10 200-end ticket. For more information, call Derek at (585) 454-HAWK (4295).

Teddy Bear Auction: The Blue Cross Arena will have some special, furry guests on Saturday, February 16th as the team kicks off its Annual Teddy Bear Auction to benefit CURE Childhood Cancer Association. The Teddy Bear Auction, presented by GoBuyRochester.com, will begin online on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. and end on Saturday, February 23rd at 9:00 p.m. Fans at the game on February 23rd will also be able to place their bids at the Go Buy Rochester booth. Winning bidders must arrange for payment before exiting the arena with their bears. This season, the auction includes a Captain America bear signed by three-time NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart and a special bear created by WBEE host Jeremy Newman.


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