The Rochester Knighthawks fell to the Buffalo Bandits tonight, 14-9, behind a 46-save effort from goalie Anthony Cosmo. The Knighthawks and Bandits are now tied for third in the East Division with 6-9 records.
The Bandits clinched the last playoff spot, with one regular season game remaining. Rochester got a hat trick from Cory Vitarelli and four points from Cody Jamieson (1+3). The Knighthawks broke through in the third and fourth with runs of 3-0 and 4-0, but Buffalo used a 7-0 run over the final two quarters to break open a 7-5 game.
Mark Steenhuis led Buffalo in scoring (4+4). Luke Wiles (3+1), Tracey Kelusky (2+1), Mat Giles (2+4), and Chad Culp followed. Matt Vinc took the loss with 24 saves, while Jake Henhawk stopped all five shots he faced.
In the first quarter, Vinc and Cosmo were solid in net with Buffalo taking a 2-1 lead. Buffalo put the first point on the board with a goal by Luke Wiles at 4:39. At 4:45, Tyler Burton tied the score at one, scoring his first goal of the season. Chad Culp added the last goal of the quarter making it 2-1 Buffalo.
Buffalo, with solid goaltending by Cosmo, started to breakaway in the second quarter scoring four out of five goals. Wiles and Kelusky scored for Buffalo at 1:12 and 2:08. The Knighthawks second goal came by Stephen Keogh at 3:06, but Buffalo went into halftime with momentum when goals by Steenhuis and Jay Thorimbert put Buffalo ahead, 6-2.
To start the third quarter the Knighthawks came out firing. After a Giles goal to put Buffalo ahead 7-2, Johnny Powless, Vitarelli, and Jamieson scored three straight goals seconds apart to make the score 7-5.
The Bandits weathered the storm when Wiles scored his third goal of the game at 6:28, which was followed by a goal by Steenhuis, his second goal of the night, making the score 9-5. Buffalo continued to score two more goals before the third quarter came to an end. Kevin Buchanan and Kelusky scored putting Buffalo up 11-5.
To start the fourth, Rochester had an opportunity to score with their third power play of the game, but Steenhuis yet again scored, putting in a shorthanded goal, making the score 12-5 Bandits. Buffalo added two more goals to make the score 14-5.
Rochester stopped Buffalo's scoring run and started one of their own. Vitarelli started the run with a shorthanded goal at 6:14 followed goals by Jarrett Davis and Accursi to make it 14-8. Vitarelli added the last goal of the game as Buffalo beat Rochester for the second time this season, 14-9.Rochester hosts the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday, April 28th at 7:30 p.m.