ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Rochester is the first team to win three consecutive National Lacrosse League championships.
Craig Point scored two goals to lift the Knighthawks to a 3-2 victory over Calgary in a 10-minute minigame after they had forced an extra session by winning Game 2 of the home-and-home set 16-10. Joe Walters also scored for Rochester after Shawn Evans and Curtis Dickson had staked the Roughnecks to a 2-0 lead.
Rochester improved to 11-0 at home since its last playoff loss in Blue Cross Arena, way back in 2004.
Evans beat goaltender Matt Vinc from in close at 2:42, Dickson made it 2-0 with an underhand rocket while running across the middle of the zone at 4:40 and, after Calgary survived a penalty against Curtis Manning, Point scored for Rochester at 7:46.
The 9,188 fans stood and roared a demand for a tying goal and Walters delivered. He sped across the middle of the zone and whipped a sidearm shot that goalie Mike Poulin got a piece of but could not stop from dribbling over the goal-line at 8:37.
Point got the winner with 59 seconds left. Dan Dawson had a goal disallowed with 46 seconds left but the Knighthawks did not need it.
Calgary had won Game 1 by a 10-7 count at home the previous Saturday to kick off the new format.
Dan Dawson, Cody Jamieson and Stephen Keogh scored three goals each, Cory Vitarelli got two and Walters, Paul Dawson, Scott Self, Jon Sullivan and Point had one each for Rochester in Game 2. Dickson and Jeff Shattler scored three each and Evans, Dane Dobbie, Daryl Veltman and Scott Ranger added one each for Calgary.
Evans scored 36 seconds into Game 2 and Dickson made it 2-0 before two minutes had elapsed. Jamieson and Veltman traded goals before goals by Keogh and Dan Dawson sent the teams to the second quarter tied 3-3.
Dan Dawson's absence due to an upper-body injury was a contributing factor in Rochester's Game 1 loss and the return of one the sport's premier playmakers injected much-needed oomph into the offence.
Walters put Rochester up 4-3 before Calgary struck for three in one minute 50 seconds beginning with a short-handed gem on a fast break. Poulin threw a long pass to Jon Harnett, who fed Dickson for a high shot past Vinc. Dickson and Shattler then scored on long sidearm shots to put the Roughnecks up 6-4.
Rochester charged back with three in a row before the end of the quarter. Dawson set up Keogh and Vitarelli before Jamieson wriggled around defenceman Mike Carnegie to get to the front edge of the crease and beat Poulin to send the Knighthawks into halftime with a 7-6 edge.
Knighthawks defenceman Paul Dawson meanwhile was doing an effective job on Dobbie. The lefty was a 51-goal scorer during the regular season and had 11 more in the playoffs but he wasn't getting many possessions with Dawson constantly on his right shoulder.
Vitarelli, with a sensational over-the-back goal, and Paul Dawson, with an end-to-end run, struck early in the third quarter. With five consecutive goals, Rochester had seized a 9-6 lead.
The Knighthawks kept the pressure on, even while down a man, to get their sixth straight goal. Self made it 10-6 when he intercepted a Veltman pass in his own end while killing a penalty and ran the floor to beat Poulin on a breakaway.
Calgary ended Rochester's run by scoring three times in the last five minutes of the third quarter. Shattler whipped one in, Dobbie finally got free to dart to the front edge of the crease to beat Vinc high, and Shattler relayed a cross-floor pass from Dickson into the open side of the net behind Vinc, leaving Rochester up 10-9.
The Knighthawks put in four in a row in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. Dan Dawson scooped up a rebound and jumped to plant the ball in the net before landing in the crease, Jamieson ran across the middle of the Calgary zone and put an overhand bullet into a lower corner of the net, Dawson scored his third by shedding three checks before firing the ball over Poulin's left shoulder, and Point also scored to make it 14-9.
Ranger got one back but Keogh, with an over-the-back shot just as good as the one Vitarelli produced, and Sullivan scored to make it 16-10, forcing the minigame.
NOTES: Rochester had an 11-9 edge in shots on goal in the minigame, while Calgary had a 48-46 shots edge in the full game . . . Rochester finished 2014 with a 12-1 home record . . . All of Rochester's players except Walters and backup goalie Angus Goodleaf are from Ontario . . . Calgary faceoff specialist Geoff Snider remained out. Also deleted were Tor Reinholdt and Matthew Dinsdale . . . Rochester scratched Joel McCready, Jamie Batson and Derek Hopcroft . . . Head coaches Mike Hasen of the Knighthawks and Curt Malawsky of the Roughnecks were teammates in Rochester from 1999 through 2003.