The Rochester Knighthawks improved to 2-1 tonight after defeating the Boston Blazers (2-2) by a score of 11-10 in overtime. It was the second night in a row the Blazers were forced into extra minutes and they were clearly tired from a hard-fought battle with the Toronto Rock the night before. To make matters worse, Boston was late arriving back home, not getting through the airport until around 3 PM. The Knighthawks were at a distinct advantage being freshly rested and it showed when the chips were down.
The Hawks took the lead as Mike Accursi opened the night's scoring. Jamieson and Shawn Evans each added tallies to extend the lead to 3-0 going into the second quarter. The Blazers had a bit of a slow start and did not get onto the board until Josh Sanderson finally beat Vinc five minutes into the second. Jamieson struck back for the Hawks a few minutes later with a power play goal and it seemed Rochester still had the momentum.
Casey Powell must have decided enough was enough and turned the tide with three goals (two of which came within thirty seconds of each other). Sanderson punctuated Powell's hat trick with his second tally and the score was tied 5-5 at halftime.
The Knighthawks slowly lost control of the game as Boston took the lead in the third quarter with yet another goal from Casey Powell. Boston was able to hold this lead for most of the fourth quarter thanks to strong play from goaltender Anthony Cosmo. Shawn Williams initiated the comeback with two goals in the fourth. Then with just five seconds left in the game, Cody Jamieson face-dodged past his defender and tied it with his third goal for his second straight hat trick. It took less than a minute for Shawn Evans to blow one past Cosmo in overtime and complete his hat trick with the game winner.
Rochester had a much better transition game against Boston than was seen in the first two games of the season. They scored on several breakaways, including two while shorthanded. Hopefully the Knighthawks can continue to see success in transition and this wasn't just a result of the Blazers being tired from back-to-back games this weekend. Unfortunately, neither Scott Evans or Gary Gait played tonight.
The "Big Three" were all active for Boston as well. Powell had four goals and three assists to earn game MVP honors in the losing effort. Josh Sanderson also had a great game with four goals and two assists. Dan Dawson added six helpers but couldn't manage to beat Vinc despite half a dozen shots on goal.
Rochester has to face Boston again next week at the Blue Cross Arena. The Blazers will be at full strength and looking to avenge this loss.
(Originally published on Examiner.com)