December 18, 2010

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Knighthakws, Rock Win Preseason Finales

from press releases

The Rochester Knighthawks ended their preseason scrimmage schedule with an 8-6 victory over the Boston Blazers today at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.

Josh Ruys and newly signed Chase Williams each tallied two goals. Ruys added two empty-net tallies late in the fourth quarter to help the Knighthawks even their preseason record to 1-0. Matt Vinc and Aaron Bold backstopped the Rochester win.

Mike Accursi opened the scoring for Rochester by beating Anthony Cosmo at 6:25 of the first quarter. Vinc assisted on the goal by leaving the outlet pass to Accursi as he stepped on the floor. Boston evened the game, while on a 4-on-3 power play. New additions Casey Powell and Josh Sanderson hooked up to tie the contest at one. Powell scored the goal from the high slot. Vinc stopped penalty-shot opportunities by Powell and Sanderson. Gary Gait was denied by Cosmo early in the first.

Boston took the lead just 20 seconds into the second, as 2010 draft pick Matt Quinton scored off an assist from offseason acquisition Kevin Buchanan. The goal was during a 5-on-3 power play. Aaron Bold entered the game with 4:20 to play in the first half. After the goalie change, the K-Hawks netted two goals in 30 seconds to take a 3-2 lead. Colin (Joe) Hall tied the game on a bounce shot at 11:19 and Williams put Rochester in the lead 3-2 with Gait assisting at 11:49. Williams signed a one-year deal today, pending league approval. Boston's Greg Downing answered as he scored off a loose ball battle at 13:49 to tie the contest 3-3.

Nick Rose took over goaltending duties for Boston in the third, while Bold and Vinc split time in the second half. Offensively, Walters helped the Knighthawks regain the lead with a goal from the right side at 2:38. Rookie Jarrett Davis scored with 9.9 seconds left in the third to give Rochester a 5-3 lead. Williams netted his second of the game to make it 6-3 Rochester at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Boston rallied with consecutive goals by Nick Cotter and Matt Smaller to cut the Knighthawks' lead down to 6-5. Ruys scored an empty-netter with 1:28 seconds to play, but Jamie Rooney answered 26 seconds later to trim the lead to 7-6. Ruys put the game away with a goal with 41 seconds to play.

The Blazers' final weekend of camp is from Saturday, Dec. 31 to Sunday, Jan. 1. The Blazers' season opener will take place on the road against the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center. Boston hosts its home opener on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m. against the Edmonton Rush at the TD Garden.

*****

SIX NATIONS, Ontario -- The Toronto Rock were 13-9 winners over the Minnesota Swarm in their final exhibition scrimmage of the preseason.

The Rock held a narrow one goal edge at the end of the first quarter but were able to extend their lead to two goals at the half leading 7-5.

A 4-1 third quarter in favour of the Rock really stretched the Toronto advantage. Garrett Billings, Colin Doyle and Rob Marshall all scored in the opening 4:21 of the quarter to make it 10-5. Billings and Marshall each striking while the Rock were a man down.

The Swarm would break up the Rock run, but Billings found the back of the net for the second time in the quarter and third time in the game to restore the five-goal lead at 11-6 after three quarters.

Minnesota would outdistance the Rock in the fourth quarter 3-2, but it wasn't enough as Toronto held on for a 13-9 victory.

Billings added another goal in the fourth quarter to finish the game with a team-high 4 goals.

"This was the first time our offence was together and for whatever reason we have great chemistry and I think it was evident out there this afternoon," said Billings.

Scoring once each for the Rock were Jeff Gilbert, Aaron Pascas, Doyle and Marshall. Kasey Beirnes finished the game with a hat-trick, while Blaine Manning chipped in with a pair.

The Rock still need to reduce their roster before December 23 at 12 noon EST when all NLL clubs must submit their 23-man active roster and 3-man practice roster.

"We're very close but you always want to be sure you make the right decisions," head coach Troy Cordingley said when asked about the final roster moves that need to be made. "We're going to sleep on a couple of things and make those last couple of tough decisions."

Currently the Rock have 28 players in camp including Pat Maddalena who is on Injured Reserve.

Toronto opens the 2011 NLL season at home against the Edmonton Rush on Saturday, Jan. 8 at Air Canada Centre.


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