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02/22/2013 - 10:14am

(February 22, 2013)… The Rochester Knighthawks host the Philadelphia Wings in a battle of the East Division’s third-place teams. The 7:30 p.m. contest will be broadcast on Sportsradio 950 ESPN and online at The game will be also carried live on YouTube via The Lacrosse Network, and televised live on Channel 98.

Head-to-Head: The Knighthawks lead the all-time series against Philadelphia with a 27-15 record. In their first meeting on February 8th, the Knighthawks beat the Wings 20-10 at the Wells Fargo Center. The win holds the league record for most goals scored in a single game (20) and the largest margin of victory (10) during the 2013 season. Rochester has won 10 consecutive matchups over the Wings.

Last Weekend: The Knighthawks win streak ended with a 10-6 loss to the Buffalo Bandits in front of 9,156 fans at The Blue Cross Arena. One week after dropping an eight-goal decision to the Knighthawks in Buffalo, Bandits goaltender Anthony Cosmo stopped 54 out of the 60 shots he faced to lead his team to victory. The Knighthawks only lead came in the second quarter, 3-2, after a goal by Johnny Powless, but only lasted for 1:40. The Bandits led 5-3 at the half, but extended their lead to 9-5 during the third quarter. While no Knighthawk registered a multi-goal game, Cody Jamieson led the Rochester with three points (1+2), followed by Dan Dawson, Craig Point, and Cory Vitarelli with two each (1+1). Matt Vinc made 41 saves in a losing effort.

Danger Zone: “Dangerous” Dan Dawson scored his 900th career point against the Bandits. His fourth-quarter goal marked the milestone for Dawson, who is seventh on the NLL’s all-time assist list (547) and eighth on the all-time points list (900). He is currently tied for sixth in the league with 22 assists along with Colorado’s Gavin Prout, who is eight points ahead of Dawson on the all-time points list.
Powless extends streak: Johnny Powless netted a goal in the second quarter against Buffalo to give the Knighthawks a brief one-goal lead. The 19-year-old has now scored at least one goal in 12 consecutive games.
Cousins retires a champion: Last week, it was announced that Rochester defenseman Ryan Cousins was retiring after 11 seasons in the NLL. The 31-year-old firefighter from Toronto, Ontario won his first Champion’s Cup with the Knighthawks in 2012. He ends his career with 78 points (32+48) and 598 loose balls in 138 games, playing for teams in Rochester, Minnesota, Arizona and Columbus. In 2012, he played in 10 regular season games, scoring two points (1+1) and collecting 31 loose balls. He added a goal and eight loose balls in three playoff games. Cousins was named the NLL Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons as a member of the Minnesota Swarm in 2007 and 2008, the only defenseman to win the award twice.
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.
These Knighthawks are nearing career milestones:
•              Mike Accursi is five points away from 800;
•              Cody Jamieson is three assists shy of 100;
•              Matt Vinc is 32 saves shy from 1,500 as a Knighthawk.
Defense Wins Championships: Rochester has one of the best defenses in the NLL in 2013. Led by team captain Sid Smith and goaltender Matt Vinc, the Knighthawks have allowed the fewest goals per game through the first seven weeks of the season (10.14). Vinc is first among starting goaltenders with a 10.10 goals-against average and a .811 save percentage. Although he is third with 300 saves, he is first with an average of 42.9 saves per game. Rochester’s penalty kill is also tops in the league. The Knighthawks are tied for first with 11 goals allowed on the power play, but are killing 66.7 percent of their penalties, 14 percent more than the closest team.
Philadelphia Notes: The Wings will play two games in two days this weekend, beginning in Rochester Saturday. On Sunday, Philadelphia hosts the Colorado Mammoth at 4:00 p.m. The Wings (2-3) are coming off of a bye week following their 20-10 loss to the Knighthawks at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. They have lost three straight after an 2-0 start to the season. Prior to the loss to Rochester, the Wings were doubled up by Calgary 16-8 on January 27th. The offense, which is last in the league with just over 10 goals per game, is led by Kevin Crowley (10+13) and Kevin Buchanan (5+18) with 23 points each. Former Knighthawk Jordan Hall is third with 20 points (6+14). The Wings are fourth with a .755 save percentage but are seventh with a 13.00 goals-against average. Although they are last in the East Division with two wins, the Wings are tied with the Knighthawks at two-and-a-half games out of first place.
Kids Day: The Knighthawks will hold their Annual Kids Day at The Blue Cross Arena. Courtesy of Zweigle’s, kids 12 under will receive a free ticket to the game with the purchase of an adult ticket. 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. 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, began online on February 16th 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.
Next Game: On Saturday, March 2nd, Rochester travels to Colorado to face John Grant, Jr. and the Mammoth at the Pepsi Center in Denver at 9:00 p.m. Last season, the Mammoth defeated the Knighthawks twice. On January 28, 2012 in Colorado, Rochester dropped a 14-11 decision. At home on March 31st, the Knighthawks lost again by a final of 16-12. All-time, the Knighthawks are 3-6 against the Mammoth.

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