The Rochester Knighthawks (0-3) face the Washington Stealth (3-2) tonight at the Blue Cross Arena. It is pretty much a must-win situation for the Knighthawks. The defending champions starting the season 0-3 is bad enough but falling to 0-4 would be a catastrophe.
Rochester played the Stealth once already this season and lost 13-12 at Comcast Arena. Rhys Duch is the guy to watch. He had six points (3G + 3A) against the Knighthawks last game and is coming off an eight point performance against the Swarm last weekend. Rochester should also keep an eye on Cliff Smith. Although he has cooled down after an amazing first two games, Smith had the best game of his NLL career against Rochester in Week One (three goals and five assists). Hopefully, he doesn't repeat that performance.
The Knighthawks have been having some offensive woes they need to straighten out. Their horrible showing last week can't simply be attributing to "needing time to gel." While Rochester's struggles on offense can't be attributed to any one player, Dan Dawson is not putting up the numbers that Knighthawks fans expected of him. He had 103 points last year but currently is on pace for just 43 this season - his lowest projected total since his 2002 rookie year. Dawson is known mostly as a playmaker but also has scored at least 25 goals each season since 2002. Despite taking 21 shots, he currently has just one goal in three games (which puts him on pace for under six goals on the year). Dawson needs to steps things up.
It'll be Tony Stewart night at the Blue Cross Arena tonight as NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be in attendance. Perhaps he can give the team a pep talk or something.
Rochester is also holding their annual Men's Health Night, presented by the Urology Associates of Rochester. The team will be wearing special jerseys tonight that will later be auctioned off on www.gobuyrochester.com to help raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. Apparently an autographed Tony Stewart jersey will also be auctioned.