Rochester Knighthawks were led by two figures that are mainstays in the game of indoor lacrosse, John Grant Jr (pictured left) and Gary Gait (pictured lower right) as they led the Knighthawks to a 10-5 victory over their long time rival Buffalo Bandits tonight at the Blue Cross Arena. In their first pro game together as teammates, Grant and Gait combined for five goals and five assists to lead the Knighthawks offensive attack against a strong Bandits team in which their Hall of Famer John Tavares was not in the lineup due to a lower body injury.
Rochester got the game going with the first three goals in the contest coming off of the sticks of Gait, Shawn Evans and Grant. Then Buffalo would sneak their way back into the contest with goals from Roger Vyse and Mark Steenhuis. Then in the second quarter, Buffalo would tie the game at 3-3 with the shot from former Knighthawk Mike Accursi that beat Pat O'Toole. Then the Bandits would get their first and only lead of the game with AJ Shannon beating O'Toole. Then the Hawks would tie the game with Gait scoring his second of the contest. Then the Rochester offense got going with Grant netting his second and then Gait getting his hat trick goal to make the score 6-4 and then former Bandit Cory Bomberry would make the score 7-4 in favor of the home squad at halftime.
Then in the second half, Buffalo would cut the lead to 7-5 on a Tom Montour goal. But that would be as close as the Bandits would get on this evening as Craig Point, Shawn Williams and Bomberry would score to make it a 10-5 Rochester final infront of the announced crowd of 8191. The Knighthawks would out shoot their Thruway rival 56-47 in the game.
The same two teams will go at it two more times this season including next Saturday night as the Bandits will try to revenge their opening night loss with a win for their home opener. HSBC Arena was not kind to Rochester last season as the Bandits would beat the Hawks 23-6 and 13-9 in their two meetings in Downtown Buffalo. The next time these two hook up on the shores of the Genesee River will be on Saturday March 27th with the faceoff being at 7:35 pm.