January 2, 2013 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Rochester Knighthawks
The Rochester Knighthawks placed three players in the Top 10 on ILIndoor.com's recent poll of the best players in the National Lacrosse League.
Two-time NLL Goaltender of the Year Matt Vinc led all Knighthawks, placing fourth overall on the Top 40 list. Newly acquired forward and former league MVP Dan Dawson wasn't far behind at fifth, followed Champion's Cup MVP Cody Jamieson, who was tabbed as the seventh best player in the league.
Not only was "Vno" the highest-ranking Knighthawk, but he was also the top goaltender in the poll, 17 spots higher than runner-up Mike Poulin. Vinc caught fire at the right time of the year, posting a regular-season low seven goals against in the finale against Philadelphia. Then in the playoffs, he denied a season-best 51 shots against Toronto in the semifinals and tied the league record with only six goals against in the Champion's Cup finals. In the title game versus Edmonton, he set a season-high with an outstanding .885 save percentage.
The Knighthawks completed the biggest offseason trade when they sent Robbie Campbell, Jordan Hall and Joel White to Philadelphia in exchange for Dan Dawson and his brother Paul. Standing at 6-5, "Dangerous Dan" can see the floor extremely well, as seen by his assist totals over his 11-year career. Last season, he earned a career-high 78 assists and reached the 100-point plateau for the third time in his career. In 2009, he scored 104 points (30+74) with the Boston Blazers and was named the league's MVP. In 2008, he led the Portland LumberJax to a finals appearance, averaging over 10 points per game in the postseason.
Jamieson signed the longest contract in league history when he inked a 10-year deal 2010 after being selected with the first overall pick in the 2010 NLL Entry Draft. It took the Six Nations product only two years to guide the Knighthawks to their third championship in franchise history. "Jammer" finished fourth in the league with 85 points (36+49) last season. In the title game against Edmonton, he scored a point all but one goal, finishing with eight points (4+4) and was named the Champion's Cup MVP. The 25-year-old forward scored a season-high nine points in the 22-12 victory in the season opener against the Philadelphia Wings on January 14, 2012.
The Knighthawks will begin their title defense on the road to open the 2013 season. The World Champions will kick off their 19th season against the Washington Stealth at 10:00 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, January 5th. Fans can catch the game on Sportsradio 950 ESPN and online at www.sportsradio950.com. Viewers can also watch a live webcast of the game on The Lacrosse Network.