May 13, 2013 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Rochester Knighthawks
Historic may be one word that appropriately describes the Rochester Knighthawks' 19th season in the National Lacrosse League.
The Knighthawks won their fourth NLL championship on Saturday, May 11th with an 11-10 win over the Washington Stealth. They are now tied for third with the Buffalo Bandits for the most championships in league history behind only Toronto and Philadelphia. It also marked the sixth time that a team won back-to-back titles, with Toronto last doing so in 2002 and 2003.
Cody Jamieson was named the Reebok Champion's Cup Most Valuable Player after leading the Knighthawks with three goals and tied with a game-high five points (3+2). The 25-year-old, in only his third year in the NLL, became just the second player in league history to win back-to-back Championship MVP Awards. John Tavares, the league's all-time leading scorer, is the only other player to have accomplished that feat, winning the award in 1992 and 1993.
Mike Accursi earned his fourth career championship ring and his third with the Knighthawks. In his 16th professional season, Accursi surpassed John Grant, Jr. for third on the all-time list for postseason goals with 58. He also passed Grant for fifth in postseason points (99) in his 25th career playoff game. Accursi is third on the Knighthawks' playoff points list with 43.
Dan Dawson was able to hoist the Champion's Cup for the first time in his 12-year career. The former league MVP, seven-time All-Pro and six-time All-Star selection, who ranks seventh overall in regular season points (946), is now second all-time in playoff assists with 73, having past Colin Doyle. "Dangerous Dan" has recorded 118 points (45+73) in only 18 career playoff games.
Not only was it the first title victory for both Dan and Paul Dawson, but they were able to share the win with the Self brothers, Brad and Scott. Scott Self won his first Champion's Cup in his 13 seasons in the NLL.
Rochester goaltender Matt Vinc entered the postseason having reset the league's all-time single-season saves record with 662. He then became the first netminder to win Goaltender of the Year three times in his career. Backstopping Rochester to the title, "Vno" also became the first goalie in league history to win Goaltender of the Year and the Champion's Cup in the same season.
Mike Hasen has won two titles in his three seasons as Rochester's head coach. He is the only coach in franchise history to guide the Knighthawks to multiple championships during his tenure. Hasen is now the franchise's leader in postseason wins with six.
Tom Cincebox, Rochester's Director or Player Relations, and Jody Gage, the Vice President of Player Personnel, are the only two men to be a part of all four Knighthawks' championship seasons.