The Albany FireWolves (1-1) were defeated by the Rochester Knighthawks (3-0), 14-13, at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York on Saturday evening. Albany controlled the game’s first half, but a strong third period by Rochester swung the momentum in their favor as they held on for the win on the road.
Full statistics from tonight’s game can be found here: https://albanyfirewolves.com/game/786732065/.
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Rochester won the game’s opening faceoff but were shut down by Doug Jamieson on their first possession. After another defensive stand, Albany ran out in transition and got on the board first as John LaFontaine gave Albany an early lead. Fresh out of a television timeout, the FireWolves added to their lead as Tanner Thomson fired one in as the shot clock was expiring. With five minutes to play in the opening period, Hiana Thompson soared across the crease and scored the third goal in a row for Albany. Less than 15 seconds later, Rochester notched their first of the night as Turner Evans beat Jamieson. Wasting no time, Albany got the goal back as Justin Scott bounced one past Ryan Hartley. With under two minutes to go, the Knighthawks netted their second of the contest as Ryan Smith collected a rebound and put one past the downed Jamieson. Rochester came up empty on their final possession of the quarter as Albany held onto a 4-2 lead after the first.
The FireWolves kept their foot on the gas as Connor Kelly buried his first of the night with Albany’s initial possession of the second period. Following a Rochester penalty, Albany took advantage of the power play opportunity as Ethan Walker netted his first of the contest. The Knighthawks finally stopped the bleeding as UAlbany alum Connor Fields scored his first of the night as the shot clock was winding down. Following a foul on the FireWolves, Matt Gilray took a long pass and found the back of the net to cut the Albany lead down to two goals about halfway through the second quarter. The FireWolves quickly got a goal back as Thompson scored just outside the crease after a nice feed from Kelly. With just under six minutes to go in the half, Charlie Kitchen caught a pass in transition and weaved his way through multiple defenders before burying an acrobatic shot to push the FireWolves lead to 8-4. The Knighthawks had an extended next possession thanks to multiple rebounds before Thomas Hoggarth rolled one in from deep. Neither team was able to score in the remaining four minutes and the FireWolves took an 8-5 lead into the halftime break.
Rochester continued their dominance from the dot, controlling the first faceoff of the second half, and immediately scored off the stick of Holden Cattoni. The Knighthawks continued their run as Curtis Knight added another, narrowing the Albany lead to just one goal. Keeping the momentum, Rochester tied the game halfway through the third quarter as Cattoni found the back of the net for the second time in the half. Just seconds later, the Knighthawks took their first lead of the game as Smith put one past Jamieson’s right foot. Despite smothering defense, Fields was able to maintain control and roll one into the net for Rochester’s fifth goal in a row. Following the goal, the Knighthawks were hit with a penalty, giving Albany their second power play chance of the night. The FireWolves were unable to convert on the man-up advantage, and soon after gave Rochester a power play try on an interference penalty. Being a man down did not matter as Colton Watkinson shrugged off a defender on a runout and netted Albany’s first goal of the half. The Knighthawks quickly got the goal back as Smith completed his hat trick with just a minute left in the period. The scoring continued as Albany’s Aaron Forster fired one in from deep. The FireWolves then forced a turnover on their side of the floor and Thompson rocketed one past Hartley to cap of his hat trick with less than a second to go in the period to knot the game at 11 apiece.
After nearly seven full minutes of scoreless action to start the fourth quarter, Albany regained the lead as Scott fired a missile past Hartley. The Knighthawks quickly tied it up at 12 as Curtis Knight found the back of the net. Just seconds later, Fields reclaimed the lead for Rochester on his third of the contest. Keeping up the pace, Albany got the goal back after a successful challenge on a crease jumping goal by John Piatelli. Fields quickly notched his fourth of the night to sway the lead back once again in Rochester’s favor, 14-13. Albany turned the ball over on their final possession and the Knighthawks were able to run out the clock, handing the FireWolves their first loss of the season.
The FireWolves will be back at home against the Halifax Thunderbirds on Saturday, January 7. For more information regarding tickets, visit www.AlbanyFireWolves.com or call/text the FireWolves front office at 518-362-4900.