Rochester Knighthawks: Wikis


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Rochester Knighthawks
Rochester Knighthawks logo.svg
Division Eastern
Founded 1995
Home Arena Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial
Based in Rochester, New York
Colors Black, Teal, Purple
Head Coach Canada Paul Gait
General manager vacant
Local media CW-WHAM, Time Warner Cable SportsNet, WHAM, WROC, WHTK
Championships 1997, 2007
Division Championships 2003, 2007
PLPA representative Canada Pat O'Toole

The Rochester Knighthawks (sometimes abbreviated as the K-Hawks) are a professional lacrosse team in the National Lacrosse League. They play in Rochester, New York at the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial. The Knighthawks were previously members of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League from 1995 to 1997. They have been members of the NLL since the league's inaugural 1998 season.

The Knighthawks reached the playoffs in each of their first 13 seasons, from 1995 to 2007. This is a league record (going back to the league's original creation, the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League). The previous record was 11 straight years, held by the Philadelphia Wings.



The Rochester Knighthawks have been one of the league's most successful franchise since its formation in the 1995 season despite playing in the leagues oldest arena and smallest market. Even with these limitations the Knighthawks have been consistently near the top of the league standings every season.

In their inaugural season they finished 3rd during the regular season and dispatched the Boston Blazers in the playoff semifinals to get to the finals as an expansion team. As they would do three times later on, they found themselves coming up just short in the championship game, falling in overtime to the Philadelphia Wings.

Just two seasons later, the Knighthawks would find their way to the top of the MILL heap, claiming the final North American Cup before the merger with the National Lacrosse League prior to the 1998 season. It would be ten years before the Knighthawks claimed their second title.


2007 season

After starting the season a pedestrian 2-2, the Knighthawks beat Toronto 19-15 in Toronto, where they had only won twice before in team history. The Knighthawks followed this victory up with 11 more, finishing the season with a franchise-record 12 regular-season-game winning streak and a 14-2 record. The Knighthawks were a perfect 8-0 at home, becoming the first team since the 2003 Bandits to post a perfect record at home.[1] The winning streak was extended to 13 games after they defeated the Rock 10-6 in the division semi-finals;[2] and to 14 after beating the Bandits in overtime, 14-13, for the East Division title.[3] After the season, head coach Ed Comeau was named the 2007 Les Bartley Award winner.[4]

Despite having the best overall record, they could not host the championship game due to a scheduling conflict with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Blue Cross Arena.[5] Playing the game instead in Arizona, the Knighthawks defeated the Arizona Sting 13-11 on May 12, 2007, to win their first NLL championship. John Grant, Jr., regular-season league MVP, was named MVP of the game.

The winning streak continued during the 2008 season, as the Knighthawks defeated the Buffalo Bandits in the opening game on January 11, 2008.[6] However, the next night in Rochester, the streak was halted at 16 games as they were defeated by the Bandits 14-9.[7]

Lease issue

During the 2007 season, a dispute over concession revenues between owner Steve Donner and the Sports Management Group, operators of the Blue Cross Arena, jeopardized the continued play of the Knighthawks in Rochester. Donner claimed that the Knighthawks and the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League had lost over $500,000 the previous two seasons, and without concession revenue sharing, he would be unable to continue to operate the teams in Rochester. An agreement was reached between the Amerks/Knighthawks SMG, and the City of Rochester on a one-year lease extension on May 11, 2007 that will allow for long-term negotiations to continue through both teams' 2008 season. Under the extension, the Amerks/Knighthawks have agreed to an independent audit of their finances and the city agreed to forgo additional luxury suite revenue from the arena and to loan the Amerks an additional $100,000, added on to a $500,000 loan that is now past-due. All parties involved will now work diligently to reach a long-term agreement by the start of the 2007–08 AHL season in October 2007. However on June 16 2008 the Knighthawks and Americans announced a new five year lease with the Blue Cross Arena.

Sale of team

On May 28, 2008 the National Lacrosse League's Board of Governors approved the sale of a majority stake of the Knighthawks to the President of Arrow Express Sports Curt Styres at a price of $5,575,000, the highest price paid for a team in league history. The league's approval is conditional upon whether or not the Knighthawks and Sports Management Group can secure a new lease for play at the Blue Cross Arena.[8] Styres had also recently been approved by the American Hockey League to purchase the Americans.[9]

Fan traditions

Throughout the Knighthawks tenure at the Blue Cross Arena, several traditions amongs the fans have developed. These tend to be lead by the fans sitting in the, "Hawks' Nest", an area of elevated seating behind the Court Street goal. Several times during a quarter where the Knighthawks are defending the opposite goal, it is common for the fans sitting there to chant the visiting team's goaltender's name three times, followed by a very loud, "You Suck!". Much like the fans of the Philadelphia Wings, Knighthawks fans shout, "Sucks," after each of the opposing teams' players are announced via loudspeakers. Whenever Pat O'Toole makes a good save, the announcer or a fan shouts, "What time is it?" The fans will chorus, "'Toole time!"

Awards and honors

Year Player Award
1997 Steve Dietrich Championship Cup MVP
2000 John Grant, Jr. Rookie of the Year
2003 Pat O'Toole Goaltender of the Year
2004 Paul Day Les Bartley Award
2005 Andrew Turner Defensive Player of the Year
2007 John Grant, Jr. Most Valuable Player[10]
Ed Comeau Les Bartley Award[4]
Steve Toll Transition Player of the Year[11]
John Grant, Jr. Champion's Cup MVP[12]


Rochester Knighthawks roster
Active (23-man) roster Inactive roster Coaches




Practice Squad
  • 18 Canada Jesse Guerin
  • 30 Iroquois Jake Henhawk
  • -- Canada Darcy Powless
  • 6 Canada Pat Saunders

Injured Reserve


  • -- United States Kyle Guadagnolo

Protected list

  •  3 Canada Chris Courtney
  • 25 United States Scott Ditzell
Head Coach

Assistant Coaches

  • Freeman Bucktooth
  • Ron Chatelaine
  • John Grant
  • Mike Hasen
  • Jason Johnson
  • Ben Miller
  • Steve Voituk

  • * Suspended list
  • (C) Captain
  • (A) Alternate captain

Roster updated 2009-02-25
NLL Transactions

All-time record

Season Division W-L Finish Home Road GF GA Head Coach Playoffs
1995   4-4 3rd 3-1 1-3 97 94 Barry Powless Lost Championship
1996   6-4 4th 4-1 2-3 148 137 Barry Powless Lost in semifinals
1997   5-5 4th 2-3 3-2 156 136 Barry Powless Won Championship
1998   6-6 3rd 3-3 3-3 168 159 Paul Day Lost in semifinals
1999   8-4 3rd 4-2 4-2 169 160 Paul Day Lost Championship
2000   8-4 3rd 5-1 3-3 187 149 Paul Day Lost Championship
2001   10-4 3rd 6-1 4-3 198 159 Paul Day Lost in semifinals
2002 Central 13-3 2nd 8-0 5-3 261 202 Paul Day Lost in semifinals
2003 Central 12-4 1st 6-2 6-2 214 173 Paul Day Lost Championship
2004 Eastern 8-8 2nd 6-2 2-6 173 186 Paul Day Lost in Division semifinals
2005 Eastern 10-6 3rd 5-3 5-3 193 179 Paul Day Lost in Division finals
2006 Eastern 9-7 2nd 6-2 3-5 196 180 Ed Comeau Lost in Division finals
2007 Eastern 14-2 1st 8-0 6-2 249 194 Ed Comeau Won Championship
2008 Eastern 8-8 5th 4-4 4-4 197 171 Ed Comeau Missed playoffs
2009 Eastern 7-9 4th 6-2 1-7 169 197 Paul Gait Lost in Division semifinals
Total 15 seasons 128-78   76-27 52-51 2,775 2,476    
Playoff Totals   12-12   5-3 7-9 294 293    

Playoff results

Season Game Visiting Home
1995 Semifinals Buffalo 8 Rochester 10
Championship Rochester 14 Philadelphia 15 (OT)
1996 Semifinals Rochester 10 Buffalo 18
1997 Semifinals Rochester 15 Philadelphia 13
Championship Rochester 15 Buffalo 12
1998 Semifinals Rochester 14 Baltimore 15
1999 Semifinals Rochester 14 Baltimore 12
Championship Rochester 10 Toronto 13
2000 Semifinals Rochester 15 Buffalo 11
Championship Rochester 13 Toronto 14
2001 Semifinals Rochester 11 Philadelphia 12
2002 Quarterfinals Vancouver 10 Rochester 11
Semifinals Rochester 10 Albany 14
2003 Semifinals Buffalo 13 Rochester 16
Championship Toronto 8 Rochester 6
2004 Division Semifinals Buffalo 13 Rochester 9
2005 Division Semifinals Rochester 17 Buffalo 16
Division Finals Rochester 10 Toronto 12
2006 Division Semifinals Rochester 16 Toronto 8
Division Finals Buffalo 15 Rochester 10
2007 Division Semifinals Toronto 6 Rochester 10
Division Finals Buffalo 13 Rochester 14 (OT)
Championship* Rochester 13 Arizona 11
2009 Division Semifinals Rochester 10 New York 11 (OT)

*The Knighthawks had the overall top seed in the playoffs, but were unable to host the Championship game due to a scheduling conflict at the Blue Cross Arena.

Head coaching history

# Name Term Regular Season Playoffs
 1  Barry Powless 19951997 28 15 13 .536 5 3 2 .600
2 Paul Day 19982005 114 75 39 .658 13 5 8 .385
3 Ed Comeau 20062008 48 31 17 .646 5 4 1 .800
4 Paul Suggate 2009 Resigned prior to season
5 Paul Gait 2009present 16 7 9 .438 1 0 1 .000

Draft history

NLL Entry Draft

First Round Selections

NLL Dispersal Draft

NLL Expansion Draft


  1. ^ "Week 16 News and Notes". April 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-21.  
  2. ^ "Knighthawks Edge Rock 10-6". April 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-21.  
  3. ^ "Knighthawks Advance to Championship Game". April 26, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-26.  
  4. ^ a b "Ed Comeau Wins Les Bartley Award". May 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-03.  
  5. ^ "Arizona To Host Championship Game". April 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-30.  
  6. ^ "K-Hawks Top Bandits in Friday's Opener, 12-9". January 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-13.  
  7. ^ "Bandits end K-Hawks Streak with 14-9 Win". January 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-13.  
  8. ^ Knighthawks sold for nearly $6 million, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle 28 May, 2008
  9. ^ Also on June 16th 2008 the Knighthawks and Americans announced a new five year lease with the Blue Cross Arena.ARROW EXPRESS SPORTS ANNOUNCES MAJORITY OWNERSHIP OF AMERKS,
  10. ^ "John Grant Wins Dodge Nitro MVP Award". May 10, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-10.  
  11. ^ "Toll named Transition Player of the Year". May 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01.  
  12. ^ "John Grant Named Championship Game MVP". May 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-13.  

See also

Preceded by
Buffalo Bandits
Major Indoor Lacrosse League Champions
Succeeded by
Philadelphia Wings (NLL)
Preceded by
Colorado Mammoth
National Lacrosse League Champions
Succeeded by
Buffalo Bandits


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