Jamieson Sparks Knighthawks' Hot Start
By Craig Rybczynski -- Opening night was the homecoming Cody Jamieson has been dreaming about since last year. Playing in his first home game in 19 months, Jamieson's performance electrified the crowd and sparked the offense to a record-setting night.
"He gave us some spark and some jam for the first game of the season," said Knighthawks forward Kyle Jackson. "It's something that we were definitely missing last year. It was great to have him back healthy because he's just another threat on the offensive side of the ball, which ultimately makes us stronger as a group. When they announced his return back to the lineup, the crowd's reaction said it all."
With "Jammer" back on the left side of the Rochester offense, the Knighthawks routed the Calgary Roughnecks 17-6 at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena. The 11-point win was the most lopsided opening-night victory in the 24-year history of the Knighthawks.
Jamieson played a vital role in the offensive onslaught as he helped break open the game in the second quarter. In the eight-goal quarter, he proved to the crowd and the opposition that he was back. Leading 3-1, Jamieson picked up his first point of the season on a power-play goal by Dan Dawson at 1:39 of the second quarter. Then at 11:01 of the second, he scored his 200th career goal on a low shot to the far post.
Later in the game, he set up goals by Joe Resetarits and Scott Campbell to finish with a four-point effort. After the game, the eight-year veteran put his milestone goal into perspective.
"It's a testament to how long I have been here now," said Jamieson. "Not too many people can get to that milestone because there are so many young guys coming up. To be here that long and score that many feels good."
Jammer, who broke into the league in 2011, ranks among the best players in franchise history. Along with John Grant Jr. and Shawn Williams, he is one of only three players who rank in the Top 3 in team history in goals, assists and points. Jamieson currently sits third in all three offensive categories with 200 goals, 332 assists and 532 points.
"He's a special player. Whenever he gets the ball, he has the ability to make things happen," said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. "He also creates for his teammates; he is not afraid to find the open guy. It's about team success for Jammer. That's what makes him one of the greatest to put that jersey on."
Mike Accursi, who played with Jamieson from 2011-14, has seen the influence that Jamieson has on and off the floor. During the team's run to three straight championships, it was Jamieson who was leading the way offensively. He was rewarded with back-to-back Championship Game MVP honors (2012-13), and was named the NLL's Most Valuable Player in 2014.
"Cody is the type of player that teammates love to play with and teams hate to play against," said Accursi. "He has a tremendous shot and a lacrosse IQ that is off the charts. For me, the biggest thing is Cody is a gamer. He has been so clutch for us since he came here. I don't think there is anyone in our history that has scored more big goals when the game or championship was on the line."
"He is a consummate professional and his leadership in the locker room is something you can't replace," he added.
On opening night, having Jamieson back on the floor gave the Knighthawks some of their swagger back.
"He makes everyone play two inches bigger, 10 pounds heavier," said Dawson. "He is the franchise player for a reason."
Dawson made it known how hard that Jamieson worked to recover from the ACL injury he suffered, in his lone appearance last season, on Jan. 28, 2017. It was 10 months of grueling hours at the gym and in the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena. It was strengthening his leg and getting back into game shape in time for the season opener. All those hours of training finally paid dividends on Dec. 9.
"He is the best player in the world, and he worked hard to get here," said Dawson. "He showed why this team follows his lead. Having him back was a real emotional lift for us."
This weekend, Jamieson and the Knighthawks will host their I-90 rivals, the Buffalo Bandits. It is the first of four meetings between the two oldest teams in the National Lacrosse League. The Knighthawks will have their full complement of offensive weapons, including No. 88.
"It will be a good battle," said Jamieson. "It's always fun playing the Bandits. They usually pack our barn and our fans come out and support us just as much. That gets the players going."
-- Craig Rybczynski |Director of Communications
Rochester Knighthawks Lacrosse Club
144 Exchange Boulevard, Suite 102
Rochester, New York 14614
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Jamieson Sparks Knighthawks' Hot Start
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