Rochester Knighthawks forward John Grant had his second eight-point game as he continues his comeback tour in a 13-11 victory over the Buffalo Bandits at HSBC Arena tonight. Rochester improved to 2-0 to a start a season for the first time since the 2000 season.
Grant has led the way for the Knighthawks with three goals and five assists to tie Tom Marechek for fourth in NLL history with 399 goals. Shawn Williams also had two goals and three assists, and Craig Point chipped in four goals and 15 faceoff wins. Rochester also converted four of seven power-play chances.
O'Toole (6,168) made 33 saves to climb within just 188 saves away from breaking Dallas Eliuk's league record of 6,356. The win was the 99th of O'Toole's Knighthawks career, placing him two away from becoming the first Rochester goalie to reach the century mark.
Mark Steenhuis led Buffalo with four goals and two assists, while Mike Accursi collected five points (1 4). The NLL's all-time goal-scoring leader, John Tavares, was a late scratch. Goalie Ken Montour stopped 29 saves in the loss. The Bandits dropped to 0-2 to start the season.
Buffalo jumped out to a 3-0 first-quarter lead and a 4-2 second-quarter lead, but each time Rochester responded to tie the game. Grant provided both goals to even the game at four. The teams then traded goals before Steenhuis gave Buffalo a 6-5 lead on the power play at 10:20 of the second.
Rochester scored four of the next five goals to open the third quarter to take a 9-7 lead at 7:25 of the third quarter as Cory Bomberry netted his only goal of the game. Brett Bucktooth cut the lead to one before the end of the quarter with a power-play marker at 11:52.
The Knighthawks controlled the beginning of the fourth quarter with three of quarter's four goals. Bobby McBride, Point and Gary Gait tallied to give Rochester a 12-9 lead. Buffalo chipped in two late goals before Steve Toll clinched the game with an empty-netter.