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Knighthawks drop important 17-11 decision to Houston

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Rochester, NY - The Rochester Knighthawks fell 17-11 to the Georgia Swarm tonight at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena. It was a festive atmosphere as over 8,500 fans celebrated Military Appreciation Night.

The Knighthawks (6-9) were led offensively by Dan Dawson, who had two goals and four assists. Dawson is now just one point away from becoming only the fifth player in National Lacrosse League history to reach 1,200 points. He also did something tonight only accomplished by one other player in the 30-year history of the league. Dawson played in his 230th straight game to tie Shawn Williams' NLL Ironman record.

Rochester also got a six-point (1+5) night from Craig Point, who was playing in his first game since February 13th. The Knighthawks welcomed back Cory Vitarelli, as well. "Dogger" netted one goal and chipped in two assists in his return. Cody Jamieson contributed with four goals and one assist.

"We're going to need everyone going forward," said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. "With 'Dogger' and 'Pointer' back, there's a little bit of comfort there. It's been a long stretch with them being out and we don't expect them to dominate game one, but we need them and all 16 guys out there to be better next game."

"They're both fantastic players and it's good to have them back," Dawson said. "To have them back and see them both contribute is nice. You can see our offense has glimpses of something we can build on. We just need to be consistent for 60 minutes and that's the bottom line."

Behind the home crowd, the Knighthawks raced out to a 3-1 lead in the first quarter. Josh Gillam opened the scoring to give him two goals in two games as a Knighthawks. Jamieson then followed with a pair of tallies. After a big second quarter from Georgia, Rochester fought back in the third to pull within two at 11-9. The Knighthawks scored the first four goals of the third as they got goals from Scott Campbell, Joe Walters and a pair from Jamieson. In goal, Angus Goodleaf limited the Swarm to just two goals in the third as Rochester outscored Georgia 6-2.

"(With the score at) 10-4 at the half I thought we clawed back, but we just couldn't get over that two-goal hump," Dawson said. "There's no quit in that dressing room. It's about execution at this point in the season."

In the fourth, Rochester kept battling back, but a pair of empty-netters iced the game for the Swarm. The Knighthawks hung tough with tallies from Dawson and Point.

The Knighthawks are back home on Saturday April 23rd as they take on the thruway rival Buffalo Bandits at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena. Faceoff is an 8:00 p.m. start. Hasen and the team know that the rest of the season is crucial for them and it will be important to come out strong against the Bandits.

"Every time we step on the floor, and everything we do, it's always about the next thing and the next moment," Hasen said. "We've got three games left and we can still control our fate. We need a little help along the way, but we need to take care of what we can take care of and that starts next week. Home is where we hang our hat and we've just got to come out with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder next week against Buffalo."

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