Knighthawks’ rally falls just short

ROCHESTER – The Rochester Knighthawks’ rally fell just short Sunday afternoon as they dropped an 11-9 decision to the New England Black Wolves at Mohegan Sun Arena. Rochester fought back to erase two and three-goal deficits, but could not tie the contest in the closing minutes.

The Knighthawks have been close the past two games and feel they are not that far away from turning the corner.

“We have to have more of a team mindset,” said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. “Everybody is trying to do a little bit more to make us better. We just have to focus and take a step back and do our jobs.”

Joe Resetarits and Austin Shanks each scored a pair of goals to lead the way offensively for the Knighthawks. Matt Vinc, who made 43 saves, moved past Pat O’Toole for third all-time in minutes played in league history with 10,313.

Vinc and the defence were incredible, holding the Black Wolves scoreless for 30:10 over the middle two quarters. Meanwhile, the Knighthawks responded with a 3-0 run to tie the contest early in the third. Rookie Jake Withers sparked the comeback with a goal at 12:19 of the second to get Rochester within two, 6-4. His goal came just five seconds after New England scored their sixth of the game.

In the third, the Knighthawks got back-to-back goals, as Brad Gillies and Shanks scored to tie the contest at six. It was the first of two goals for Shanks, who tied his career high for goals in a game. His last marker evened the contest at eight just 29 seconds into the fourth.

“That’s a part of it, but I wanted to come out with a win,” said Shanks. “I think I can do a little bit more; I need to bury some more chances.”

“We just need to work harder,” added Shanks. “We are getting our looks and getting our chances. They are going to drop. It’s not an effort thing, which is good.”

Jamieson scored a late goal and nearly got Rochester within one, but the ball caromed off the crossbar with 12 seconds to play.

Rochester (2-4) will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 3 when it hosts the Buffalo Bandits (3-3) at 7:30 p.m. at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena. The Knighthawks, in conjunction with Veterans Outreach Center (VOC), RECON Rings, Tango Charlie Apparel and Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, will hold their fourth annual Military Appreciation Night.

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