Courtesy of the Rochester Knighthawks
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – On a night where the Rochester Knighthawks were celebrating a new era in the National Lacrosse League, the team was unable to find the offensive spark that they needed as the Knighthawks opened their inaugural season with a 14-4 loss to the Georgia Swarm Saturday at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena.
Newcomer Dan Lintner had a team-high two-point night (1+1), including scoring the first goal in franchise history, while being one of four different goal-scorers for the new-look Knighthawks.Phil Caputo, Dan Michel and Jay Thorimbert also scored for Rochester while Craig Wende made 44 saves on 58 shots he faced in his Knighthawks debut.
Georgia was fueled by the duo of Lyle and Miles Thompson, who erupted for 12 points between the two of them, including a four-goal effort from Lyle. Shayne Jackson also posted a seven-point night for the Swarm behind a stellar 36-save performance from veteran goaltender Mike Poulin. The Swarm goaltender held Rochester to just a single goal or less in three of the four quarters before being replaced by Mike Orleman in the final nine minutes of the contest.
Georgia controlled the matchup from the onset with the Thompson brothers combing for nine points in the first half, including five from Lyle.
The Swarm set the tone early in the contest, storming out to a 3-0 lead less than six minutes after the opening face-off on back-to-back goals from Miles Thompson and a tally just 51 seconds later from Jordan Hall, a former Knighthawk in the previous organization.
Lintner cut into the deficit at 8:41 off a feed from Shawn Evans, but a quick response from Lyle Thompson overshadowed Rochester’s first goal in franchise history and restored a three-goal cushion for the Swarm at the close of the first quarter. The Knighthawks had a chance to trim the deficit even further but couldn’t capitalize on a full two-minute two-man advantage with 2:12 remaining.
Thompson’s first tally of the night would set off a 9-0 run for the Swarm to begin the second quarter. Jason Noble beat Wende 29 seconds and Jackson scored twice in a span of 3:33, once on the power-play and then again shorthanded, to make it 7-1 Georgia.
Georgia’s special teams continued to be a factor as Lyle Thompson converted on a penalty shot opportunity before Jackson and Miles Thompson each scored with the Swarm a man down. Lyle Thompson and Hall would earn the assists on both shorthanded tallies.
Caputo eventually ended Georgia’s nine-goal run with his first of the season at 14:58 of the third quarter, connecting on a cross-field pass from Turner Evans to make it 12-2.
The fourth quarter saw the teams exchange a pair of goals each, but the Knighthawks couldn’t muster any more offense in the 14-4 loss.
“In the fourth quarter, we begin to play the way we wanted to,” said head coach Mike Hasen. “We were moving our feet offensively and making the easy passes. Defensively, we were tighter. Those are things we need to do for a full 60 minutes. We can use the positives as building blocks we can use moving forward.”
Rochester is back in action on Saturday, Dec. 21 when they head north of the border for the first of three matchups against the North Division rival Halifax Thunderbirds at Scotiabank Centre. Game time is slated for a 6:00 p.m. ET start and will be carried live on 107.3 The Bull as well as B/R Live. Fans can stay up to date all season long with the latest Knighthawks news, stories and notes at www.rochesterknighthawks.com.
GAME NOTES: Knighthawks captain Paul Dawson appeared in his 200th professional game tonight … Assistant captain Curtis Knight appeared in his 100th pro game … Jay Thorimbertwent 8-for-12 on face-offs and is now nine face-off wins away from surpassing Geoff Snider (2,468) as the NLL’s all-time leader.
ROC: D. Lintner (1), P. Caputo (1), D. Michel (1), J. Thorimbert (1)
GA: M. Thompson (3), L. Thompson (4), J. Hall (1), Z. Williams (1), S. Jackson (3), J. Noble (1), B. Cole (1)
ROC: C. Wende – 44/58 (L)
GA: M Poulin – 36/38 (W) | K. Orleman – 6/8 (ND)
ROC: PP (0/7) | PK (1/3)
TOR: PP (2/3) | PK (7/7)