NLL Champion’s Cup Live Blog: Rochester defends title with 11-10 win over Stealth


Final score is 11-10. Shots even at 49-49. It was a great game, and thanks for following the action here on IL Indoor. Congratulations to the Knighthawks and their fans for the big win.

Matt Vinc makes the save and the Rochester Knighthawks are the 2013 National Lacrosse League champions!

Scott Self brings the ball out and is double teamed by two Stealth defenders. The Stealth get the ball back, kick it out to Ratcliff for a desperate shot!

Timeout Knighthawks. 14.6 remaining. With possession, barring some miracle, the Knighthawks should secure the win and complete the rare back-to-back championship.

Rochester turns the ball over, Stealth presses up the floor but Vinc stands tall against a low angle Duch shot!

Nooch drives, draws two, but can’t get the pass up top.

Timeout Stealth. 1:15 remaining. Washington will have possession and keep Richards at the bench, playing with 6 offensive players.

Duch’s shot is turned aside.

2 minutes left. Washington is trying to free up Duch for the shot but Rochester intercepts the pass after the pick and roll.

With the lead, Rochester’s possessions are careful and systematic. The players look calm and are patiently waiting for a good shot, otherwise content to use up the clock.

Goaltending has been outstanding in this final quarter of play. With time winding down (4 minutes remain) the Stealth are looking for the equalizer and the K-Hawks are looking for some breathing room. However, both goalies are turning aside almost everything thrown at them.

Dan Dawson and Justin Salt are now taking over the right side on each offensive possession. They’re working a nice 2 man game but the Stealth defense is preventing any clear shots.

Stealth shot rings off the pipe!

With just 9 minutes remaining, this is the time when I expect the benches to be shortened a little. Every possession will be important and with a title on the line the game will be placed on these guys shoulders.

Great save by Richards! Defender Jimmy Purves had a clear breakaway after a Stealth shot rebounded off the end boards.

K-Hawks 11: Stealth 10 Joe Walters muscles his way to the crease and extends the Rochester lead to two. After the faceoff, on a 2 on 1, Tyler Garrison scores on a low shot with almost no angle to keep it a one goal game.

Last quarter, with the championship on the line and a one goal game…awesome.

End of 3rd quarter

With the last posession of the quarter, the K-Hawks pulled their goalie for the extra attacker but were unable to get a quality shot.

Rochester on the PP now, and with good, quick ball movement they looked to feed Jamieson sitting behind the net. Cody tried jumping and jamming it in but was called for being in the crease.

Washington on the PP and they’re getting some good looks from the point using high picks and screens. Possibly because of their last couple of goals, the Stealth shooters seem to be taking a lot of low shots. A couple of them got throughVinc but went off the post.

A nice crease dive by Joe Walters is turned aside by T-Rich.

K-Hawks 10: Stealth 9 Washington seems to be settling for outside shots in this quarter, but it’s working. Nooch carries the ball down low, pops it up top to Bucktooth who simply rips it low.

Cody Jamieson and Dan Dawson are consistently finding room for themselves, or creating room for teammates. Richards has been up to the task early though, keeping Washington in it.

So far it looks as if halftime adjustments from each side were made to eliminate fast breaks. The top guy on offense is watching the shot clock and coming back to get someone out the back gate early. As a result, we’re seeing a lot more settled offensive sets which I think will favour Rochester.

K-Hawks 10: Stealth 8 Rhys Duch finds the 5-hole for a softie that Vino would love to have back.

As we get set to start the second half, the stats from the first look to be fairly even; 31 shots on goal for both teams, 10 PIMs for Rochester, and 6 PIMs for Washington.

Halftime – End of 2nd quarter

They went upstairs to the video replay booth to confirm: no goal.

A crease violation calls back a goal by Rochester. Cody Jamieson cut hard and dove across the crease, making contact with Richards who after being shaken up, seems to be fine.

K-Hawks 10: Stealth 7 On back to back possessions, Rochester is back on top. Powless cuts through the middle and scores, and then Craig Point picks a corner.

Even with that last K-hawks goal, you can feel momentum is still with Washington after they scored 4 straight goals to get back in the game.

K-Hawks 8: Stealth 7 Shortly after Cliff Smith tied the game with a low bouncer, Vitarelli answers from the low post on the next Rochester possession.

K-Hawks 7: Stealth 6 Duch with a terrific PP goal shooting from the top with a low burner that beats Vinc.

Both teams have been scoring at a torrid pace so far, and while the Rochester defense has done a terrific job of forcing the outside shots, the Washington shooters are finding space underneath on the crease.

K-Hawks 7: Stealth 5 Local guy Cliff Smith is alone on the crease and scores a quick one to put his team within two.

K-Hawks 7: Stealth 4 Tyler Garrison responds for Washington during a 3 on 1 fast break.

K-Hawks 7: Stealth 3 Vinc stones Tim Henderson on the breakaway as Washington starts getting their transition game going, and Rochester takes that posession and Jamieson scores again.

K-Hawks 6: Stealth 3 Ratcliff scores with a nice individual effort. But again, Rochester answers right back almost immediately as Jamieson quiets the crowd.

T-Rich makes a great save with Vitarelli on the doorstep. Even with the K-Hawks shorthanded, they find a way to generate offense.

As the second quarter starts, the Stealth are playing with a little more intensity and the crowd has responded with a lot more noise.

It’s been a back and forth affair thus far, with both teams playing physical and determined. The Knighthawks have been the more active team on offense, and while the shots are even (14 – 13 in favour of Rochester) there have been more high quality shots taken by the defending NLL champs.

End of 1st quarter

K-Hawks 5: Stealth 2 Dawson is starting to heat up. After driving to the net and drawing an early slide, he makes a nice underhanded dish up top and the bouncer from Accursi found the net.

K-Hawks 4: Stealth 2 The K-Hawks are doing a nice job of getting underneath the Stealth defense so far. Dan Dawson gets his first on an outside shot, and then less than a minute later Brad Self gets a breakaway pass and buries it top left on Richards.

K-Hawks 2: Stealth 2 Two quick goals and the game remains tied. Cody Jamieson scores a goal while shorthanded, then Nooch follows up on the crease with a couple nice fakes at the end of their 4 on 3.

We’re seeing a lot of penalties early on as the teams adjust to the officiating. Both teams have had an early 5 on 4 but were unable to capitalize.

K-Hawks 1: Stealth 1 On a delayed penalty, Washington answers with a big shot from Duch to tie the game.

K-Hawks 1: Stealth 0 Knighthawks look terrific on defense as they’re really limiting the Stealth transition game, and on offense they’re getting lots of shots with Vitarelli opening the scoring with a nice shot from the crease.

A lot of respect given to Stealth FO man Bob Snider, as only one defender was on the Stealth restraining line.

4:05pm

Player announcements are now done, and the anthems have just finished, and the game is set to begin!

3:55pm

Roster updates: for the Stealth, Mitch Jones, Mitch McMichael, and Justin Pychel are scratches; for the K-Hawks it’s Jamie Batson, Kyle Laverty, and Stephen Keough.

3:45pm

Both teams have gone back into the dressing room for the final time prior to player introductions. The LEC is about half full right now, with lots of fans in the concourse area. It really is a fantastic atmosphere, and I’ve seen a ton of Washington Stealth jerseys being worn. This is undoubtedly a Stealth home game despite being played in Canada.

3:40pm

Matt Vinc looks very sharp in the Knighthawks warmup. He’s covering the net well, seeing the ball and is moving quickly side to side. It’s only warm up but not a lot of shots are getting by.

3:35pm

As the teams are warming up, Richards gave the Stealth a little scare as he went down when trying to stretch for a save. The trainers came out, Roik went in net, but T-Rich shook it off after a short rest and appears to be ok.

3:20pm

I’ve arrived at the Langley Events Centre, which is expecting a capacity crowd for tonight’s NLL Championship. Considering how evenly matched these two teams are – they split their regular season matchups which were one goal games – there’s been a lot of talk about an epic game.

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