The San Diego Seals Have Surfaced
Dan Dawson registered a hat trick, including the game winning goal with 5:54 left in regulation to lift the San Diego Seals to a 12-10 victory over the Rochester Knighthawks before an electric crowd of 11,343 at Pechanga Arena San Diego. Austin Staats continued his hot start to his rookie season with 4 goals and an assist (5 points). Staats now has 22 points on the season. San Diego snaps their two game losing streak and gets back to the .500 mark at 2-2.
“We knew that we had a special feeling in that room and we were so anxious to share it with that electric crowd out there and the city of San Diego,” said Head Coach and General Manager Patrick Merrill. “Starting the first three games on the road, we were so anxious to get back here and I’m so proud that we were able to come out with a win tonight.”
Kyle Jackson registered a hat trick for the Knighthawks while Joe Resetarits and Cory Vitarelli potted two goals a piece. Resetarits (4) and Cody Jamieson (5) combined for nine assists on the night Graeme Hossack and Austin Shanks also tallied goals on the night. Rochester managed to go 4 for 5 on the Power Play, while San Diego struggled on the man advantage, going 0 for 6 on the night. The back and forth battle was a testy match-up on the night as the team's combined for 26 penalties in minutes on the night.
Adrian Sorichetti brought the home fans to their feet after his breakaway goal on a beautiful assist from goaltender Frank Scigliano in transition to light the lamp and give San Diego a 1-0 lead. Jackson quickly evened things up at 1-1 just 90 seconds after the game's opening goal. San Diego would rattle off back to back goals from Turner Evans and Staats to pull in front 2-1. Rochester would quickly tie things up at 3-3 following quick strikes from Vitarelli.
Kyle Buchanan regained the Seals lead just 39 ticks into the 2nd quarter from Brodie Merrill and Cam Holding. Hossack brought the 'Hawks back to level terms at 2:10 of the 2nd at 4-4. Dawson potted his first of the night to restore San Diego's lead. But Rochester would claw its way back into the game with Jackson scoring a pair of goals to give the Knighthawks the lead at 6-5. Garrett Billings would score a highlight reel goal with a behind the back tally to even things up at 6-6 at Halftime.
Jamieson broke the halftime tie with a quick goal on the Power Play, Rochester's third one of the game to take back the lead. Dangerous Dan would come through again for the Seals to lock things up again at 7-7. Resetarits converted on another man advantage to give the visitors the lead once more at 8-7. But Austin Staats wouldn't be denied in front of the home crowd, he tied the game at 8-8 late in the 3rd quarter. Nothing was still decided after 45 minutes of play.
"We had a really emotional special day getting to hear some stories from some Navy Seals and more about what this emblem means," said Dan Dawson on the team's meeting with members of the U.S. Navy Seals. “Togetherness, embracing the moment, adversity and the brotherhood. That's what its all about, is playing for something greater than yourselves and that's what we pride ourselves on in our dressing room. Our introduction to San Diego was phenomenal, It was pretty cool being able to show them all what lacrosse is all about. I said it from the get-go, to be a part of something from the foundation up is really special and we had a really emotional special day and it carried on to the game.”
Buchanan would find the net once just 61 seconds into the 4th quarter and give the Seals a 9-8 lead. Rochester once again found a way to level up the game after Resetarits pounced on a loose ball left right in front of the Seals goal crease to make it a 9-9 tie. Staats finished off his hat trick to put San Diego on top 10-9. Shanks kept the Knighthawks in the game with a goal at the 8:25 mark and level things up at 10-10. The game would stay tied until Dangerous Dan came through in clutch time at 10:06 of the 4th with the tiebreaking goal that gave the Seals the lead for good at 11-10. For good measure, Staats added his 4th marker of the night to polish off the home opener with a 12-10 victory.