2nd Longest Game in NLL History & Breakaway by Gillies Gives Knighthawks “W” in Overtime Thriller Against Riptide 2/25/23

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Christopher Crane, Rochester Knighthawks Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©

Featured Image Photo Credit:  S. Cordaro

In an Eastern Division matchup on Saturday February 25, 2023, the Rochester Knighthawks (8-2) played host to the New York Riptide (2-8) at the Blue Cross Arena.  The last time these two teams met was back on January 15th with the Knighthawks winning that game 11-8.  This second match up would be a little different as New York’s Jeff Teat currently leads the league in goals with 38 and is second in the league with 79 points; while Rochester’s Connor Fields sits ranked sixth overall in points and is second in the NLL in goals with 31.  With each team having their own offensive weapons, this matchup would be a shootout to the very end with each offense capitalizing on the opportunities they were given as well as each team’s defense stepping up when needed.  Rochester and New York would head into halftime all tied up at 6-6, with the Knighthawks defense shutting out the Riptide offense to go up 9-6 at the end of the third quarter.  New York would then turn the tables in their favor in the fourth and would tally four goals to the Knighthawks lone score in the quarter to make it a 10-10 game at the end of regulation.  Both teams would then battle it out in overtime until the closing minute of play when Rochester’s Brad Gillies (3g) would net the game winner and give him a hat trick on the night (his second career hat-trick) giving the Knighthawks an 11-10 win to send them into a three way tie for first place in the Eastern Division.

First quarter would have New York go up 4-2 on Rochester with Jeff Teat (4g, 1a) notching back-to-back tallies in the first five; and Kevin Brownell (3g) netting back-to-back tallies in the last three for the Riptide.  Rochester’s two would come from Ryan Smith (1g, 4a) on a power play opportunity at the 8:00 mark of the quarter and teammate Ryland Rees (1g) netting the second goal of the first frame for the Knighthawks.

Rochester would tie things up in the second quarter with Connor Fields (3g, 2a) tallying his first score on the night at the 9:37 mark  and Gillies following it up 25 seconds later with his first of three scores on the night to make it a 4-4 game.  Both teams would exchange scores for the rest of the quarter with New York’s Brownell and Teat each notching the Riptide’s only two scores of the quarter giving them hat-tricks as well.  Rochester’s last two scores of the quarter would come from Fields for his second on the night and teammate Holden Cattoni  (1g, 1a) who netted a power play goal with 4 seconds left on the ticker to make it a 6-6 game heading into halftime.

Photo Credit: S. Cordaro

The third quarter would be all Knighthawks as their defense with goalie Ryan Hartley (44 saves) would shut out the Riptide offense.  The Rochester’s offense would capitalize and take a three goal lead.  Fields got it started at 11:25, but it would take almost eight minutes before they’d score again. Paul Dawson (1g) would be the next to find twine with 3:02 to go; and  Gillies got his second with 1:05 remaining giving the Knighthawks a 9-6 lead.

Rochester’s offense stalled in the fourth and they’d get their lone goal from Thomas Hoggarth (1g) at the 2:31 mark.  The tide would then turn in the Riptides favor as they would start chipping away at the Knighthawks lead and wouldn’t allow another score.  Tyler Digby (1g, 2a) got it started, followed by Reilly O’Connor (1g, 3a), Teat for his fourth score on the night, and teammate Ron John (1g, 1a) who tallied the tying goal with 55 seconds left in the fourth quarter making 10-10 game to force overtime.

Overtime would see both teams battle it out with each side not giving in to each other for 14 minutes. It was Rochester’s Gillies on a breakaway, he was one-on-one on Orleman and was able to find twine with 58 seconds on the clock to give the Knighthawks the victory and also notching a hat-trick, the second of his career.  Final Score OT:  Knighthawks 11—Riptide 10.

New York Riptide—SOG 54; FO 13-25; Saves 52; Sv% .825%; PP 0-2
Rochester Knighthawks—SOG 63; FO 12-25; Saves 44; Sv% .815%; PP 2-5


The Rochester Knighthawks (8-2) will head north of the border to First Ontario Centre to face the Toronto Rock (8-2) on Saturday March 4, 2023, game time 7:00 p.m. EST in another crucial battle for 1st Place in the East as the Rock, Bandits and Knighthawks are in a three-way tie.  Fans in the USA can see the game on ESPN+.  Fans in Canada can see the game on TSN.ca or the TSN app.

The New York Riptide (2-8) will head to Wells Fargo Center to face the Philadelphia Wings (3-5) on Saturday March 4, 2023, game time 11:30 a.m. EST.  Fans in the USA can see the game on ESPN+.  Fans in Canada can see the game on TSN.ca or the TSN app.

Christopher Crane, Rochester Knighthawks Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©