Knighthawks blast Bandits, extend win streak to three

NLL – For the second straight week, the Rochester Knighthawks knocked off a first-place team, following a 17-10 win over the Buffalo Bandits Saturday night at KeyBank Center. The victory extended Rochester’s winning streak to a season-high three games.

“We are playing our best lacrosse at the right time,” said Knighthawks Head Coach Mike Hasen. “We are getting contributions from everyone, which is great.”

Rochester improved to 5-6 and has now beaten Georgia, Saskatchewan and Buffalo in a span of three weeks. In those games, the Knighthawks have outscored their opponents, 50-31.

On Saturday, Rochester received goals from eight different players, which included five multiple-goal efforts. Kyle Jackson tied his career high with five goals to finish the game with nine points. Austin Shanks, who was celebrating his 24th birthday, tied his career best with a pair of goals. Fellow rookie Eric Fannell also tied his career high with a two-goal effort. Meanwhile, Cody Jamieson notched two goals and five assists to tie his season high with seven points.

Rochester jumped on Buffalo early in the game, going up 3-0 in the first and 11-4 after 30 minutes. Three of the Knighthawks’ first four goals were courtesy of special teams. Shanks scored a power-play marker at 9:50 and then Josh Currier snuck behind the defense and buried a short-handed tally at 12:14. Joe Resetarits netted his first of the night just 34 seconds into the second. The goal was the Knighthawks’ second power-play tally of the contest. Rochester went on to score five goals on nine opportunities.

“It makes lacrosse easier when you are scoring on the power play,” said Jackson, who had two power-play markers. “They are free possessions where you are getting good looks. The shots that weren’t falling for us during that losing streak are finally falling for us.”

Resetarits also scored a pair of power-play goals as he had the greatest offensive game of his career. The Hamburg, NY native posted a career-high 11 assists and 14 points in his homecoming, and tied Derek Malawsky’s team record for assists in a game. The Knighthawks forward contributed to the team’s first seven goals as Rochester opened the I-90 rivalry with a 7-0 run. Resetarits finished the first half with 10 points on 11 Knighthawks’ goals.

“How good we played as a team is the main thing,” said Resetarits when asked about his incredible night. “I have great teammates and they are getting in the right spots. Anyone could have had a big night.”

The Knighthawks’ defence also deserved a lot of credit, holding the second-highest scoring team in the East Division to four goals in the first half. Matt Vinc made 12 saves in the first quarter as Rochester shut out the Bandits in the opening frame. He collected 43 saves and helped hold Buffalo to a season-low tying 10 goals.

“We have been playing well the last three games, but we have been steadily getting better each game, as well,” said Hasen. “When we broke down, ‘V’ (Vinc) was there to save our butts tonight. It was a great team effort and we have to continue playing well.”

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