By Alex Hinkley
The Rochester Knighthawks lost the rematch against the Boston Blazers last night 7-16 in one of the worst performances the Knighthawks have put on at the Blue Cross Arena in recent memory.
Defenseman Ryan Dilks opened the scoring for the Blazers three minutes into the game on a quick break. He would have a hat trick for Boston in the first half which goes to show just how bad the Hawks were on defense. The Knighthawks did not get their first goal until ten minutes in when Cody Jamieson scored on the power play to make it 1-4. It would be the only goal Rochester managed in the first quarter.
Dan Dawson and Casey Powell went off in the second quarter with two goals a piece. Mike Hasen pulled Matt Vinc in an effort to calm the team down. It didn't seem to matter who was in goal as Dawson scored yet again before Kevin Buchanan and Ryan Powell each added a tally of their own increasing the Blazers' lead 4-11 at halftime.
Backup goalie Aaron Bold came out to start the second half but was soon replaced by Matt Vinc after allowing a goal in the first minute. Dawson (4 G, 2 A) and Powell (4 G, 5 A) continued to punish the Knighthawks all game long. Josh Sanderson, the other member of the "Big Three," had a notable game as well with 6 assists.
The game remained one-sided throughout the remainder of the second half. Rochester didn't even bother trying to mount any sort of comeback and they managed to find the net just once in the fourth quarter.
The Knighthawks just couldn't get anything going on offense. They did not score a "regular" five-on-five goal until forty minutes into the game when Shawn Evans finally blew one past Cosmo (all Rochester's goals up to that point were either on transition or the power play). Neither Craig Point or Mike Accursi managed a single goal. Gary Gait worked hard setting picks and fighting towards the net, but also could not score. Rookie Cody Jamieson (4 G, 0 A) lead the Knighthawks in scoring for his third consecutive hat trick. Three of his goals came on the power play, however.
Perhaps the biggest reason the Hawks dropped this game is defense. The defense seemed almost nonexistent. The Boston Blazers, Dan Dawson especially, kept running the same play on nearly every possession for the entire game where one guy would cut through the middle, receive a pass, and quickly shoot from the top of the crease. The Knighthawks just couldn't seem to stop it. No matter how hard they tried, there would always be someone cutting through their defense to receive that pass.
Newly added Rory Glaves was a no-count without even a single loose ball. Aside from a really good pass on the Hawks' second goal, Scott Campbell didn't do much either. At one point he even fell down for seemingly no reason.
This was an embarrassing loss for Rochester and it is evident that something needs to be done about this swiss cheese defense. As bad as the defense is, the Knighthawks also currently have the worst offense in the league being tied with Buffalo for fewest goals scored. Hopefully Jordan Hall will be ready to play next weekend when the Philadelphia Wings roll into Rochester. We need all the help we can get.
(Originally published on Examiner.com)