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KNIGHTHAWKS FACE UNFAMILIAR FOE FOR DIVISION
05/03/2013 - 11:31pm

(May 3, 2013)... The only team that Rochester did not face in the 2013 National Lacrosse League regular season was Minnesota and vice versa, so it is only fitting the Knighthawks will host the Swarm in the East Division Final on Saturday, May 4th at 4:00 p.m.
 
The two teams faced each other in an exhibition game in December, but a lot has changed in the five months since then. Minnesota crossed over from the West Division to become the fourth seed in the East. The Swarm then took down the top-seeded Toronto Rock with a dominating 20-11 win in the opening round of the playoffs.
 
According to Head Coach Mike Hasen, the Knighthawks (8-8) “will be in for a tough one” against the Swarm.
 
“If you don’t know who Minnesota is, they certainly made a statement last week beating Toronto so handily,” he said. “They’ve got speed, their goaltending is great; any guy on the floor can put the ball in the net at any point. They’re running on all cylinders.”
 
Saturday’s contest will mark the 14th time in 19 seasons that the Knighthawks have reached the Divisional Final, but only the fourth time that they’ve hosted the game. The last time the Knighthawks hosted an East Division Final, they went on to win the franchise’s second championship in 2007, when they ousted the Buffalo Bandits by a score of 14-13 before claiming the Champion’s Cup.
 
Goaltender Matt Vinc has been a wall in the net all season and now has the hardware to prove it. Vinc, in his eighth season in the NLL, won an unprecedented third Goaltender of the Year Award after breaking the single-season record for saves with 662.
 
“Definitely a huge honor and something I am proud of, but with the timing of the award, I am focused on this weekend,” Vinc said. “It is a huge accomplishment for the team and our defense. Hopefully, we continue our strong defensive play on Saturday.”
 
"He's been the guy we depend on to make the big save and bail us out when we make mistakes," Hasen said. "He has done that consistently throughout the season. He works hard both on and off the floor. The award is well deserved."
 
Forward Dan Dawson took charge against his former team in Rochester’s 10-8 victory over Philadelphia in the division semifinal. With a game-high four goals, he surpassed Mark Steenhuis for seventh all-time in postseason goals scored. “Dangerous Dan” has recorded 110 points in only 16 career postseason games.
 
“We expect the same thing from Dawson (against Minnesota),” Hasen said. “That’s the way we expect Dawson to play. That’s a big reason why he’s here. He’s clutch. He’s a great player who makes his teammates better as well.”
 
The Knighthawks will be playing in front of the national viewing audience for the fourth time in five weeks. Since 2012, they have a 5-1 record in games aired on CBS Sports Network.
 
“It’s just another game for us,” said Knighthawks forward Stephen Keogh, disregarding the television coverage element. “You want to win every one you play no matter what.”
 
CBS Sports Network is the 24-hour cable home of CBS Sports, available to 104 million homes throughout the United States and Canada. CBSSN is available on local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 613 and Dish Network Channel 158. Time Warner Cable customers in the Rochester area can watch CBSSN on channels 232 and 1027.
 
CBS Sports Network is available across Canada on Bell ExpressVu (Ch. 1432), and can also be found on Rogers (Ch. 416), Cogeco (Ch. 744), Eastlink (Ch. 134, 206 or 168), Sasktel (Ch. 425) and BellAliant TV (Ch. 479).
 
Fans can also listen to Saturday's game on Sportsradio 950 ESPN in the Rochester area or online here.
 


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