Rochester Knighthawks Repeat as Champion's Cup Winners

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Rochester Knighthawks Repeat as Champion's Cup Winners
(Photo: nll.com)

The Rochester Knighthawks successfully defended their title as National Lacrosse League champions on Saturday, beating the Washington Stealth 11-10 to once again take home the Champion's Cup.

Rochester is the first team to win back-to-back championships since the Toronto Rock did it in 2002-03. The Knighthawks are just the sixth team in the league's 27th year of existence to win consecutive titles.

The Knighthawks drew first blood on a terrific double-pump-fake goal by Cory Vitarelli and never trailed at any point in the game, although the Stealth would come back to tie the game three times. Each time Washington rallied to tie the game, Rochester would have a run of its own to extend its advantage again.

Virtually all of the scoring occurred in a wide-open first half where 17 goals were scored between the two teams. The Knighthawks went into the halftime break with a 10-7 lead; only three more goals would be scored in the second half as both teams' defenses tightened up; Rochester would not relinquish its lead again. 

Cody Jamieson scored a hat trick and added three assists for the Knighthawks in the first half. Those six points earned him the nod as game MVP, making him just the second player in NLL history to win back-to-back Champion's Cup MVPs (John Tavares turned the trick in 1992 and 1993 for the Buffalo Bandits).

Joe Walters added six points to the Rochester attack while goaltender Matt Vinc turned aside 39 shots in the win.

Brett Bucktooth had a five-point night for Washington while Rhys Duch chipped in with his sixth straight hat trick.

This was the fourth time in Knighthawks history that they have taken home the Champion's Cup and the 12th time in league history that the title game was decided by a single goal.

 

Follow me on Twitter @calgaryjimbo.

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