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Knighthawks Kick off Preseason Saturday

December 4, 2012 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) Rochester Knighthawks

The Rochester Knighthawks long awaited return to The Blue Cross Arena will end this Saturday, as the 2012 NLL Champions host the Minnesota Swarm. The game is the first time the Knighthawks will play at home since winning their third World Championship on May 19th against Edmonton.

On Saturday, December 8th, the Knighthawks will kick off their preseason schedule with an 8:00 p.m. contest against the Swarm. FREE Tickets are available online at Knighthawks.com. Fans must have a ticket to enter the game. Fans can catch the game on Sportsradio 950 ESPN and online at www.sportsradio950.com.

Spreading Holiday Cheer: Before and the during the game, kids can meet Santa to make last-minute gift requests prior to his big night delivering gifts to all the good girls and boys. Fans can also drop off a new, unwrapped toy to United States Marine Corps' "Toys for Tots" drive. The Knighthawks have again partnered with the United States Marine Corps in an effort to provide Christmas gifts to the needy children of the Greater Rochester Area and the surrounding communities.

Preseason Rematch: This is the second straight season that the Knighthawks have hosted the Swarm in a preseason game. Last season, Cody Jamieson led the way with six goals, including three straight in the third quarter, to help the Knighthawks defeat the Swarm 19-15. Jamieson led the way for the Knighthawks with six goals and three assists. Brad Self and Jordan Hall also had strong games for Rochester, each collecting three goals with two assists. The teams split the regular season series in 2012.

Knighthawks Notes: The Knighthawks are led by 2012 Championship Game MVP Cody Jamieson, and two-time NLL Goalie of the Year Matt Vinc. Rochester also boasts second-year stars in 2012 All-Rookie Team members Stephen Keogh and Johnny Powless. The 19-year-old Powless hit the 50-point plateau and earned the NLL Sportsmanship Award. Keogh finished third on the team with 58 points and third among rookie point producers. Rochester concluded the 2012 campaign with wins in five of its last six games. The Knighthawks rallied from a 5-1 halftime deficit to defeat the Edmonton Rush 9-6 in the NLL Finals.

New faces added to Defending Champs: Rochester enters the preseason with some new additions. The most notable are Casey Powell, Joel McCready, Tom Montour and Ian Llord. Powell, who was the 2010 NLL MVP, enters his 10th season of professional lacrosse and his third season with the Knighthawks. McCready, who like Powell took last season off, will start his fourth season with the Knighthawks. Llord comes to Rochester after spending five of his six seasons in the NLL with the Knighthawks' thruway rivals, the Buffalo Bandits. Montour enters his 11th season in the NLL in 2012 after spending the last four seasons in Buffalo. Originally drafted by the Toronto Rock in 2002, the transition man has played for four teams. The 30-year-old won a Champion's Cup in 2003 with Toronto.

Swarm Notes: After reaching the NLL Western Division Finals for the first time in team history, the Swarm restocked their roster with a slew of first-round picks. Minnesota used four picks to acquire transition man Brock Sorensen (No. 2 overall pick), forward Kiel Matisz (No. 3 overall), forward Shayne Jackson (No. 4 overall) and defenseman Alex Crepinsek (No. 10 overall). Crepinsek played his college lacrosse at RIT, and will join former Tigers' standout Jordan MacIntosh on the Swarm. On December 1st, the Swarm and the Colorado Mammoth opened the preseason in a rematch of the First Round of the NLL Playoffs. Minnesota won the postseason contest, 14-10, but dropped the preseason encounter 11-6.

Knighthawks conclude preseason against Toronto: Rochester will conclude its preseason with a showdown against the Toronto Rock at the Bell Centre in downtown Montreal. The defending World Champion Rochester Knighthawks will battle the rival Toronto Rock on Saturday, December 15th at 7:30 p.m. at the home of the Montreal Canadiens. Fans can catch the game on Sportsradio 950 ESPN and online at www.sportsradio950.com.

Knighthawks help bring lax back to Montreal : For the first time in a decade, lacrosse will return to the Bell Centre in downtown Montreal. The last professional lacrosse game played at the Bell Centre was during the 2002 season by the Montreal Express. The Knighthawks went 2-0 against Montreal, which included a 21-16 victory at the Bell Centre on February 17, 2002.

A Game of Champions: This game will feature the last two Champion's Cup winners in Rochester and Toronto. The Rock won the 2011 NLL Championship. The best players in the world will descend on Montreal in December. The players expected to take part in the game include Garrett Billings, who was second in the NLL in points in 2012, and Second Team All-Pro Cody Jamieson of the Knighthawks. Rochester native and Knighthawks forward Joe Walters will also return to the turf after an impressive 2012 Playoff run, which included Rochester's first ever postseason win in Toronto.

"I look forward to playing an exhibition game in Montreal in December. Bringing lacrosse back to the city will be a great experience, especially playing against one of our rivals, Toronto," he said. "Giving the fans in Montreal a chance to see an NLL game live will hopefully spark a return of lacrosse to the market."

Season Opener: Rochester will begin its title defense on the road to open the 2013 season. The World Champions will open their 19th season against the Washington Stealth at 10:00 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, January 5th.

Home Opener: The Knighthawks will play their home opener on Saturday, January 19th against the rival Buffalo Bandits at 7:30 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. Season tickets are currently on sale at the Knighthawks Office and can be purchased by calling (585) 454-HAWK (4295).

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