Black Wolves Hold Off Knighthawks

Uncasville – Kevin Buchanan matched a season-high with four goals and Shawn Evans chipped in with three more as the New England Black Wolves survived a frantic last flurry, pulling out a 12-11 victory over the Rochester Knighthawks on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Now 4-2 in one-goal games this season, the Black Wolves improved to 6-6, reaching .500 for the first time this year after an 0-3 start. New England – which peppered Rochester goalie Matt Vinc with a season-high 65 shots –is now only half a game behind second place Toronto in the East Division, which dropped a 14-11 decision against Colorado. Rochester fell to 4-8.

Evans also had five more assists tonight, which was exactly the number he needed to move past Gavin Prout into seventh place all-time on the NLL career assist list. Evans now has 622.

Buchanan, who also had two assists, scored the last of his four goals with 70 seconds remaining in the game to make it 12-10. As it turned out, New England would need that goal because Rochester’s Josh Currier beat Evan Kirk with 34 seconds remaining to make it 12-11.

That set up a wild finish as Rochester won a faceoff and pulled the goalie. The Knighthawks hit the post with their final shot of the night, and New England celebrated its second win in three meetings with the Knighthawks.

Reilly O’Connor had two goals for the fourth time in five games, and also matched a career-high with four assists. Kevin Crowley also had two goals and an assist while Kyle Buchanan had a goal and two assists. Evan Kirk had 34 saves, making a number of difficult saves at crucial moments. Jay Thorimbert won 17 of 27 faceoffs.

Rochester’s Kyle Jackson had five goals and two assists while Currier had a pair of goals and one assist.

New England is at Calgary on Saturday at 9 p.m. EST.