Uncasville – Shawn Evans had five goals and six assists while Kevin Crowley had one goal and a career-high nine assists as the New England Black Wolves held off the Rochester Knighthawks 16-13 on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The East Division rivals meet again Saturday in Rochester.
Pat Saunders (four goals, two assists) had a first-half hat trick for the second straight game against Rochester while Kyle Buchanan (two goals, four assists) and Kevin Buchanan (two goals, two assists) also had big nights.
The last time the Black Wolves (6-4) faced Rochester (6-6), they jumped out to first-quarter leads of 5-0 and 6-1 before the host Knighthawks rallied, scoring nine goals in the second quarter of a 17-13 comeback win on March 12th.
This time, Rochester scored three goals in a one minute span to cut the New England lead to 15-13 with 1:01 left in regulation. But Bill O’Brien came up with a crucial loose ball and Kyle Buchanan turned it into a clinching score.
New England led 4-0 early on before Rochester scored its first goal on a pretty effort from Peter Keogh (five goals, two assists), who had six goals in the first meeting between the teams. The Knighthawks appeared to score again just 13 seconds later, but that goal was waved off for a crease violation.
And shortly after goalie Tye Belanger, making his first start of the season for the Black Wolves, stopped a point blank shot from Cody Jamieson (one goal, five assists), New England answered with goals from Jordan Hall and Kevin Buchanan.
But two goals in under a minute from Keogh and Jamieson made it 6-3 with 4:18 left in the half. Saunders sandwiched two goals around a goal from Keogh, however, and New England took an 8-4 lead into halftime.
Rochester applied pressure immediately to start the second half, scoring 28 seconds in on a goal by Joe Walters. But New England scored four of the next five, including a short-handed goal from Evans, to build a 12-6 lead.
Rochester did not threaten again until that three-goal flurry in the closing minutes.
The Black Wolves will be in action Saturday night in Rochester. Game time is 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports GO.