The Washington Stealth finished in last place in 2012 with a 4-12 record but that doesn't mean the defending champions should take them lightly. It's a new year and that means anything could happen.
Rochester faced the Stealth just once last season and won 15-12 despite a four goal game from the Stealth's top scorer, Rhys Duch. With Ryan Cousins currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list, the Knighthawks defense will have their hands full containing Duch and Athan Iannucci, who also has a history of finding the back of the net in games against Rochester. ("Nooch" has 19 goals and 17 assists in just 8 career games against the Knighthawks).
For a team that won the Champion's Cup, the Knighthawks have made a ton of roster changes during the offseason. For one, they brought aboard Dan Dawson along with his brother Paul as part of a blockbuster trade that sent Paul Rabil, Joel White, and Jordan Hall to Philadelphia. Standing at over six feet tall, the Dawson brothers will bring some much needed size to the Knighthawks' lineup on both sides of the field. Dan Dawson certainly lives up to his nickname of "Dangerous" considering he had over 100 points last season (25G + 78A). He should be a great set-up man for Cody Jamieson and one of the other new Knighthawks - Casey Powell.
After acquiring Powell in the in the Orlando Titans dispersal draft, Powell decided not to play last year. Maybe it was the fact that Rochester won the Championship or maybe it was the fact he missed playing professional lacrosse but Powell is back and even signed a three-year deal. Powell and Dawson have played together before as two-thirds of the "Big Three" in Boston (Josh Sanderson was the third). Perhaps Powell, Dawson, and Jamieson will come to be known as the new Big Three.
It's not the first time that Casey Powell has been a Knighthawk. Rochester actually drafted him with their first round pick back in 1999. He only played two seasons in Rochester, though.
Rochester has some other new faces speckling the roster as well. Ian Llord and Tom Montour joined the team after being cut by the Buffalo Bandits. Rookies Cody Mcleod and Matt Hummel will help to shore up the defense. Joel McCready is also back after taking last season off.
It should be a close game but with how much talent the Knighthawks have in their lineup, they almost look like an All-Star team. Rochester should be able to come out of this one on top in what is sure to be a high-scoring affair.
The game begins at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow night. Knighthawks fans can watch the game live online via The Lacrosse Network on YouTube. Every game of the season will be broadcast live on The Lacrosse Network this year.