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Knighthawks Fall to Roughnecks, But Playoff Hopes Remain Alive

March 23, 2019 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Rochester Knighthawks News Release

In a season that has had many unexpected twists and turns, the Rochester Knighthawks have been battling for a chance to play for postseason glory. Trade deadline acquisitions such as Chris Boushy and Ryan Benesch have made an immediate impact on Rochester's performance, and the Knighthawks have kept their playoff hopes alive and well.

Although dropping a 12-9 decision on Saturday night, the Knighthawks got some help around the league, namely a New England Black Wolves' loss, to stay alive in the playoff race.

Angus Goodleaf played in his 150th career game, making 29 saves in the effort. Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen spoke to Goodleaf's character and what makes him a valuable member in the locker room.

"He has been here a long time, so we all just want what is best for him," Hasen said. "We are always rooting for him to make the next save and get the next win every time we play."

First-quarter goals from Benesch and team leaders Brad Gillies and Graeme Hossack gave the Teal and Purple an early 3-2 advantage over the West Division Calgary Roughnecks. The Rochester coaching staff recently stressed the importance of getting out in front of the competition early on. Knighthawks defenseman Graeme Hossack noted that his group has made the necessary changes and that he expects them to start quickly more often moving forward.

"We just have to keep learning from our mistakes," Hossack said. "We have a lot of young guys who are working very hard. We have made a few mistakes here and there that we should be able to correct to swing things in our favor."

Kyle Jackson lit the lamp three times in the second quarter alone, and Ryan Benesch collected his second goal of the night thanks to Cody Jamieson's second assist. Benesch also assisted on Jackson's third goal. At halftime, the Knighthawks led the Roughnecks by a score of 7-6.

A rather uneventful third quarter ended with the Knighthawks trailing the Roughnecks by just one goal. Luc Magnan scored a goal that would keep Rochester close just 13 seconds into the third quarter. A potential Hossack goal in the final moment of the quarter was disallowed following a challenge by Hasen.

After an early fourth-quarter goal, Cody Jamieson pulled the Knighthawks within one goal once more at 10-9. Rochester fought valiantly to get back into the game. However, they were unable to solve Christian Del Bianco, falling by a score of 12-9. With Rochester still in the playoff race, optimism still fills the air in the team locker room.

"If you look at the standings, there is an opportunity there," said Hasen.

Next, the Knighthawks travel to New England to battle the Black Wolves on Sunday, March 31 at 1:00 p.m.

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