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 Rochester Knighthawks

Knighthawks Secure Playoff Berth Behind Fields' Record-Setting Performance

April 21, 2024 - National Lacrosse League (NLL)
Rochester Knighthawks News Release

(Rochester, NY) - Facing a must-win situation to clinch the final playoff spot in the National Lacrosse League, the Rochester Knighthawks (8-10) did just that and more, jumping out to a 5-0 lead and never looking back on their way to a dominating 12-3 rout of the Philadelphia Wings (6-12) in Sunday's regular season finale at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena.

The win, Rochester's second of the weekend following an 11-10 win over Georgia on Friday, secured the Knighthawks a playoff spot for the second straight season. The Knighthawks, who came into the weekend with a slim 3.3 percent chance of qualifying for the postseason, defied the odds while also earning their first win in franchise history against the Wings after going winless through the six prior meetings.

Fields closed out the weekend with 16 points in two games, highlighted by a record-setting seven-goal performance on Sunday, including all four goals in the second quarter. He also finished with 21 shots on his way to setting the NLL's new single season record for shots (267).

Ryan Lanchbury (0+7) notched seven helpers while Ryan Smith (0+5), Curtis Knight (2+2) and Thomas McCovey (1+2) all collected multi-assist outings for the Knighthawks, who earned their first home win since March 9 versus Albany. Ethan O'Connor and Taylor Jensen both scored one goal each with Jensen's being his first pro goal. Dan Coates, Turner Evans, Brad Gillies, and Kyle Waters all chipped in an assist.

Goaltender Rylan Hartley (2+1) logged his second victory of the season in his seventh appearance of the slate as he stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced while liming the Wings to just three goals. The netminder made 12 of his saves in the final 15 minutes of regulation while allowing only one goal in the final three quarters of play.

Leading point-getter Mitch Jones (2+0) paced the Wings offense with a pair of goals while former Knighthawk Holden Cattoni booked his 25th goal of the season in the opening frame. Goaltenders Zach Higgins (6+12) and Deacan Knott (0+0) both saw time in the crease with Higgins drawing the start. Higgins, who finished the contest turning aside 49 of 61, set a new league record with the most saves in a season (755).

Rochester jumped out to a 5-0 lead, which began with Jensen's first career marker 3:24 into the game from Coates and O'Connor.

Lanchbury helped set up the Knighthawks' next four goals, two of which came off shots from Fields.

The Wings cut into the deficit as Jones and Cattoni both beat Hartley, but prior to the end of the first frame, Knight responded with his second of the contest to push the score to 6-2.

Rochester, which had a 27-9 shot-advantage with 11 minutes remaining in the second frame, used another multi-goal run to seize control of a 10-2 cushion at the half.

Fields, who notched his fifth four-goal outing of the campaign, scored four consecutive goals in a span of 2:29, including one on the power-play, to help the home squad take complete control of the contest.

Smith provided three primary helpers while Lanchbury also tallied three more assists.

After the first half featured 12 goals, the final 30 minutes only featured three with two of the three coming from the Knighthawks to complete the 12-3 victory.

The Knighthawks will begin their quest towards a championship as they face the Toronto Rock at in the NLL Quarterfinals at FirstOntario Centre on Saturday, April 27. All the action will be carried live on Big 107.3 FM as well as ESPN+.

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