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‘POINTED’ IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
06/06/2013 - 3:15pm

By Craig Rybczynski - Craig Point stood in the back hallway of The Blue Cross Arena and reflected on the Parade and Celebration to honor the accomplishments of the 2013 Rochester Knighthawks.

“It’s hard to believe, but at the same time you are just so proud that you worked that hard and what came out of it,” he said. “Curt (Styres) did his job and we did our jobs and this is the result. It feels awesome.”

Point was a key member of a Knighthawks team that once again used a late-season charge to win another Championship. Rochester won four its final six games and needed a win on the final day of the regular season to have a shot at defending their 2012 title. It was Point who had the hot stick that night, scoring a season-high four goals in a five-point effort to give the Knighthawks a 10-9 victory over rival Buffalo. For the six-year pro, the four goals tied his single-game best.

Point continued to produce in the playoffs, scoring once in the East Division Finals and four times against Minnesota in the East Finals. Point sparked a late fourth-quarter rally and scored the game-winner in a 12-10 win over the Minnesota Swarm. In the NLL Championship Game, Point scored one goal and added two assists in the thrilling 11-10 win over Washington to give Rochester back-to-back titles for the first time in team history. Point, who was acquired in a 2009 trade, was quick to point out the reason for his late-season success.

“Coming off the Championship season like that two years in a row, I am pretty pumped up about everything. I have been in the gym every day of the week since I started the season with the Knighthawks. I got back into the lineup pretty late in the season, but I kept working at it,” he said. “We did it all as a team like everybody else did, but I plan on staying in shape through to next season. That’s my goal. I plan to stay in shape all summer and continue it on to the winter season again for a possible three-peat.”

With a new fitness program, Point has made the transition from the National Lacrosse League back to his Major Series Lacrosse team look easy.  The Rochester Knighthawks forward has 20 points in four games for the Six Nations Chiefs. In his last game, he scored one goal and assisted on six others in a 12-9 win over the rival Peterborough Lakers June 2nd.

“That was a huge win. We battle back and forth every season with Peterborough. There are only six teams in the league so everyone is fighting for the same thing,” he said. “Every team will be playing their hardest against us. We have to match their intensity.”

The Chiefs own a 3-1 record, suffering their only loss to the Brooklin Redmen. The Six Nations’ roster includes Cody Jamieson, Stephen Keogh, Colin Doyle, Evan Kirk, Brandon Miller, Sid Smith and Kasey Beirnes. Point believes Six Nations could have the team to compete for the Mann Cup, which was last won by the Chiefs in 1996.

“One of my other goals is to win a Mann Cup. I know we have the team to do it, but it’s all about the dedication of the guys just like the guys in the winter time,” said Point.

On Monday, Point took part in a daylong celebration in the City of Rochester. He was joined by teammates Mike Accursi, Dan Dawson, Paul Dawson, Angus Goodleaf, Cody Jamieson, Stephen Keogh, Mike Kirk and Joe Walters.

The Knighthawks kicked off the day with their 2013 NLL Championship Parade, which ended at the steps of City Hall. Mayor Thomas Richards handed Knighthawks President and GM Curt Styres the Key to the City to commemorate the historic Championship. With an 11-10 win over the Washington Stealth on May 11th, Rochester became the first team to win back-to-back NLL titles since the Toronto Rock (2002-03). The Championship was the fourth in the team’s 19-year history.

The Knighthawks spent the afternoon on the golf course at Midvale Country Club before heading back downtown for a Championship Celebration at The Blue Cross Arena. Fans met the players and had their pictures taken with the Cup and Captain Sid Smith. Kids enjoyed the bounce houses, as did Dan and Paul Dawson and Point. Fans of all ages watched a replay of the 2013 Championship Game on the video board and cheered as the Knighthawks raised the Champion’s Cup.

“We came to the arena and it was great to see the fans and how proud try were of us. All they are hoping for is that we can do the same thing next year,” said Point. “They know we are a championship team and next year they hope we can do the same thing. We are going to work hard to try to do that.”


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