Despite playing their best half of lacrosse of the season, the Rochester Knighthawks fell 21-12 to the Saskatchewan Rush Saturday night at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena.
Rochester was led offensively by Josh Currier who had a career-high four goals, including three in the first half as the Knighthawks led 8-7 after 30 minutes. Kyle Jackson also put up a four-point night with a pair of goals and two assists.
The first half was highlighted by four goals by defensemen as Scott Campbell, John Rae, Andrew Suitor and Graeme Hossack all scored. Campbell tied the game at two early in the first quarter on a breakaway followed shortly after by Currier’s second of the night to get the Knighthawks their first lead. Cory Vitarelli also notched a goal and an assist in his first home game of the 2017 season.
“It was probably our best first half of the year,” said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. “Defensively, we were doing what we wanted to do, getting in lanes and disrupting them a little bit. We had a lot of energy getting on and off the floor, especially in the second quarter. We were pushing the ball well. Offensively, we kept them spread out which is what we wanted to do. This is a learning curve.”
Currier now leads the Knighthawks in goals (10) and is tied with Joe Resetarits for second in points with 20.
“He’s quick. He’s constantly moving in the middle, getting outside and he has a great shot,” Hasen said. “He’s changing his shot every time he shoots it so it tougher for the other team to read him and he’s doing a lot of the little things right.”
“I think the ‘O’ was moving the ball well,” Currier said. “We were getting on and off the floor and doing what we needed to do in the first half. (Dan Dawson) has been helping a lot of the rookies out and he’s helped me a lot so he’s a great guy to have on the team.”
After playing three games since being activated for the Knighthawks, Hasen was impressed with the strides Suitor is making with the team, being a solid veteran presence for the younger players.
“He played with lots of energy,” Hasen said. “He was a force out there. He’s getting up the floor and was rewarded with that goal, but defensively he’s a presence out there. That’s the Suitor we traded for and that’s the Suitor we need to see.”
Just 14 seconds into the third quarter, Ian Llord gave the Knighthawks a two-goal lead, but the Rush came firing back to gain a lead they would not relinquish.
The Knighthawks will be home again on Saturday, Feb. 18 to take on the Toronto Rock. Faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m.