By Alex Hinkley
The Rochester Knighthawks beat the Boston Blazers last night by a score of 19-8 in one of the most dominating performances by the Knighthawks this season.
Rochester opened the scoring as Shawn Williams netted his first of four goals on the night. Boston kept the game close throughout the first quarter and were able to take a 2-1 lead going into the second. That's when things started to run away from them as Rochester scored the next five goals of the game (and scored a whopping eight in the second quarter).
The Blazers attempted to make a comeback but penalties kept sapping all of their momentum and they just couldn't establish any flow. Five of the Knighthawks nine power plays came in the second half and Rochester made Boston pay for their transgressions with six power play goals. The Rochester offense never let up as they continued to pour on the scoring into the final minutes of the game. Ten of their goals came in the second half of the game.
It seemed as if Boston goaltender Anthony Cosmo gave up early in the fourth as he began to look towards the bench after being scored on. No relief came for him, however. Cosmo had the lowest GAA in the league coming into the game (8.98) but gave up over double that number of goals last night. It was the most goals he has allowed this season and perhaps even in his career.
Rookie Cory Vitarelli (3G, 1A) had another great game with his first professional hat trick. Vitarelli has been an amazing addition to the Rochester lineup in the recent weeks. Shawn Williams (4G, 3A), Jordan Hall (4G, 0A), Shawn Evans (2G, 5A), and Craig Point (2G, 3A) also all had notable performances. The only Knighthawks forward without a goal last night was Mike Accursi. Despite this tremendous offensive showing, it was a goalie that won game MVP. Matt Vinc took these honors after turning aside 27 of 34 shots faced.
The game was very chippy all night long with four fights and lots of frustration-driven penalties. Pat McCready, Sid Smith, and Joel McCready each dropped the gloves for Rochester (Joel doing so twice and being thrown out of the game as a result).
Rochester clinches a playoff berth with the win yesterday. They will return home next weekend for their final home game of the regular season against the Buffalo Bandits in what could be a precursor to a playoff matchup between these two clubs.
(Originally published on Examiner.com)