Knighthawks win second straight Champion's Cup
Posted at: 05/11/2013 11:40 PM
With an 11-10 victory over the Washington Stealth on Saturday night, the Rochester Knighthawks earned their second consecutive National Lacrosse League championship.
With a one-goal lead and less than 10 seconds to play, goaltender Matt Vinc made his 39th save of the game to preserve the lead and allow the Knighthawks to become the first back-to-back champions in the NLL in a decade.
Rochester native Joe Walters scored the eventual game-winner 2:24 into the fourth quarter. The goal proved to be the only Knighthawks goal in the second half, but was enough to lift them to victory.
Forward Cody Jamieson was named the Reebok Champion's Cup MVP after scoring a team-high three goals, and was tied for the team lead with five points (3+2). Dan Dawson (1+4) and Walters (1+4) each finished with five points as well. Vinc made 39 saves on 49 shots.
The Knighthawks jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter. Cory Vitarelli scored the first goal of the game at 3:16. Tied at 2-2, Dawson, Brad Self and Mike Accursi each scored respectively to end the first with a 5-2 lead.
Washington's Lewis Ratcliff cut the deficit to two to start the second quarter, but Jamieson responded with consecutive goals at 2:47 and 4:39 to push the lead to 7-3.
The Stealth scored four unanswered goals to tie the game at 7-7, including two from Cliff Smith.
Vitarelli, Johnny Powless and Craig Point scored one goal apiece in a span of 2:42 to close the first half with a 10-7 advantage.
In the third, Stealth netminder Tyler Richards shutout the Knighthawks on 10 shots. Rhys Duch and Brett Bucktooth scored goals to reduce the lead to 10-9.
The Stealth were led by Bucktooth (1+4), Duch (3+1) and Ratcliff (1+3). Richards made 38 saves on 49 shots.
The win gives Rochester Head Coach Mike Hasen his sixth postseason victory as the Knighthawks bench boss, making him the franchise's leader in playoff wins.