ROCHESTER – The Rochester Knighthawks fell 13-9 in the first game of the home-and-home series against their East Division rival Buffalo Bandits at KeyBank Center in Buffalo Friday night.
Rochester was led by a seven-point performance from Dan Dawson (3+4). Kyle Jackson put up a pair of goals and added three assists, while Joe Resetarits, Cory Vitarelli, Jarrett Davis and Dan Lomas each chipped in a goal apiece.
“The positive thing about it is that we’re only halfway through our year and you can turn it around,” Dawson said. “We’ve got a lot of guys in this room that care and that’s a great thing. We’ve got to have urgency and execution going forward.”
Goalie Matt Vinc made 46 saves to surpass the 4,000 saves mark as a Knighthawk. The contest also put him at a tie with Hall of Famer Jeremy Hollenbeck for ninth place on the team’s all-time games played list.
“He’s been our best player all year and we’ve got to give him a little help on the front end,” Dawson said about Vinc.
The first half of the game proved to be a back-and-forth affair with neither team leading by more than two goals by then end of the second. Rochester took its first lead after Resetarits fired a bullet from the outside that beat Bandits goaltender Anthony Cosmo. Davis opened the scoring in the second quarter, which was followed by two Buffalo goals. Dawson halted a Bandits’ run but another pair of goals from the Bandits ended the half with Rochester trailing 6-4.
In the second half, the Knighthawks came close, trailing by just two goals with just over five minutes to play, but the Bandits scored two quick ones in the final minutes to close out the game.
Rochester and Buffalo will face off again tomorrow afternoon at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena. Game time is at 1:00 p.m.
“The good thing is that we have another opportunity tomorrow. It’s a quick turnaround and we have to have a short memory,” said Dawson. “Going forward it’s going to come down to execution. Every time we get a chance, we’ve got to bury it.”