This week, the New York Riptide face off against the Rochester Knighthawks, who are one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the NLL, sitting at 4-0 after their 17-9 victory over Panther City this past weekend. The two teams played three times last season, with New York dropping a 13-12 overtime decision on opening weekend and then winning the two subsequent matchups by scores of 15-12 and 15-7 respectively.
Rochester is led offensively by Connor Fields, who, despite missing last weekend’s game, still leads the team in goals (12) and points (25). Curtis Knight leads the team with 15 assists and has chipped in defensively as well with a team leading five caused turnovers. Goaltender Ryan Hartley, who has played every minute this season for the Knighthawks, is currently second in the NLL in saves with 165, stopping shots at an 80% clip with an even 10.00 goals against average. Matt Gilray has picked up 30 loose balls on the back end, while also contributing 8 points. Rochester has also benefited from the league’s top penalty kill, having allowed just four goals on fourteen power plays for a 71.43 percentage.
In an effort to bolster the defense, the Riptide made a trade this week to acquire 6’5” left handed defenseman Chad Cummings, who will make his Riptide debut on Sunday. In 84 career games with the Calgary Roughnecks and Panther City, Cummings has 30 points on 6 goals and 24 assists, has collected 330 loose balls, and caused 56 turnovers. He was an integral member of the Roughnecks team that won the 2019 NLL Championship.
Offensively, New York will look for options from players other than Jeff Teat, who while being held goalless in their last outing, is one of only two Riptide players with double digit points this season. Larson Sundown has consecutive multi-goal games, and Callum Crawford also scored twice in his return to the lineup against Toronto. One way to improve this is on the power play. While the Knighthawks have the best penalty kill in the league, the Riptide have the second best power play, having scored on 8 of their 14 chances for a 57.14% marker.
Sunday’s game will be available to watch on MSGSN 2 and ESPN+, and listen to on WRHU 88.7 FM, WRHU.org and the WRHU iPhone App. Live stats and periodic in-game updates will be available via Twitter @NewYorkRiptide.