Knighthawks Dominate Roughnecks in Home Opener


Records were set in a dominating season opener for the Rochester Knighthawks, who welcomed back Cody Jamieson.

Behind two six-point performances from Dan Dawson and Joe Resetarits, the Rochester Knighthawks dominated the Calgary Roughnecks 17-6 Saturday at home to conclude the NLL’s opening weekend.

“We really executed the game plan that the coaches wanted – that was get transition and play fast,” Dawson said. “We want teams to know if you’re coming into this barn, you’re going to be in for a battle. We want to prove that it’s our home floor and we’re going to keep it.”

Knighthawks forward Cody Jamieson, who was limited to one game last season due to an ACL injury, was activated from injured reserve ahead of their home opener. The 2014 NLL MVP tallied just one goal and three assists – reaching the 200-goal mark for his career in the first half – but his return provided a boost to the team, said head coach Mike Hasen. 

“Forget about the fact that he can control the offense, run the power play, score goals,” Dawson said. “He’s the franchise player and the emotional lift. He makes everyone that much better. Not even through his play, but just being there. You never really understand how good he is, because he’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever played with. The emotional lift we got from him tonight is exactly why we got the result we did.”

Kyle Jackson, Cory Vitarelli and Josh Currier added two goals on the night for Rochester, while goalie Matt Vinc finished with 40 saves on 46 shots, passing Bob Watson for the second spot on the NLL’s all-time saves list. Jake Withers also set a franchise rookie record, going 19-for-22 on faceoffs.

Another franchise record was tied – fewest goals scored in a game – as Rochester’s defense held Calgary to six goals.

The Roughnecks were led by two points each by Dan MacRae and Tyson Bell. Rookie Zach Currier, who was selected third in the 2017 NLL Draft, docked his first career goal as Curtis Dickson, Dane Dobbie, Tyler Digby and Wes Berg were held scoreless.

MacRae opened the scoring for Calgary, but Jackson quickly put Rochester ahead with two goals. The Knighthawks went on to score 10 more goals for an 11-3 halftime lead. With a third quarter shutout of Calgary featuring a single goal for Rochester, the Knighthawks kicked off the fourth quarter with four straight goals.

“You always learn more from a loss than a win,” Calgary coach Curt Malawsky said.

Rochester gets a bye week before taking on the Buffalo Bandits on Dec. 23, while Calgary hosts the Vancouver Stealth in its home opener Friday at 7 p.m.

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