NLL – Week 17 of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) regular season was a make it or break it weekend for the Rochester Knighthawks who were teetering along with the Buffalo Bandits on the brink of missing the playoffs, in the eastern division.
By Saturday night, the Buffalo Bandits were sent packing with an exclamation mark, as the first place Georgia Swarm murdered the Bandits 20-7 to mathematically eliminate them for this post season.
That was very good news for the Rochester Knighthawks who defeated the New England BlackWolves 15-13 the same night to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Elsewhere around the league, Saskatchewan downed the Toronto Rock 15-10 and Vancouver beat Colorado 13-10. Rochester controlled a 6-4 first quarter lead, which New England carved a goal from by the half, which ended 8-7 for the Knighthawks.
I would have been bad if the game was in Georgia, but Buffalo Bandits fans had to sit through a 20-7 crushing at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo.
Lyle Thompson recorded a 10-point game with two goals and eight assists while brother Miles scored four and assisted on another. Randy Staats scored four and assisted on three and Johnny Powless added two goals and two assists.
“That’s probably the worst beating I’ve taken in lacrosse,” said dejected Bandits defenseman Steve Priolo. “And it came on the most important night of the year. That kind of sums up our season of bad luck and lack of effort and lack of passion.”
Coach Troy Cordingley was devastated at his team’s lack of effort. “That was an embarrassing effort. We were outclassed and outworked right from the get go,” he said. “It’s especially tough when you’re battling for your life and you have no battle.”
There was the exact opposite emotions at the Blue Cross Arena Saturday night as the Rochester Knighthawks responded to the desperate situation with a 15-13 win over the New England BlackWolves.
The Rochester Knighthawks remained alive in the hunt for the third and final playoff spot in the East Division after a 15-13 victory over the New England BlackWolves Saturday night. Rochester got a career-high seven-point effort from rookie Dan Lomas, who scored three goals and added four assists.
“He had a great night that started with his first couple of shifts,” said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. “He came up in transition and had a great game.”
This coming weekend, Rochester close its regular season against the Georgia Swarm in Georgia, April 28.