Ryan Cousins holding the Champion’s Cup

       Beaches Assistant General Manager Ryan Cousins and alumni star Stephen Keogh have won the NLL Championship with the Rochester Knighthawks. Both members of the Beaches family were instrumental in the victory as Keogh scored one goal and had one assist with five shots and Cousins was solid defensively getting four loose-balls. The Rochester Knighthawks have been a second-half team throughout the 2012 National Lacrosse League season. Although it seemed like the Edmonton Rush had Rochester’s number in the first half of the Champion’s Cup final on Saturday night, the Knighthawks once again roared from behind with a strong third quarter en route to the third championship in team history. Rochester erased a four-goal halftime deficit to defeat Edmonton 9-6 at the Blue Cross Arena. The Knighthawks scored seven unanswered goals to open the second half, stealing the lead and momentum from the Rush. Trailing 5-1 at the break, Mike Accursi, the only player from Rochester’s 2007 championship squad, opened the quarter with the first goal of the Knighthawks’ momentous run. After rookie Johnny Powless scored, Cody Jamieson followed with two straight to tie the game at 5-5. Jamieson finished with a game-high eight points (four goals, four assists) and was named the Championship Game MVP. Accursi gave the Knighthawks the lead with a power-play goal late in the third after former Rochester captain Shawn Williams was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. All-Rookie Team selections Stephen Keogh and Powless added goals before the Rush were finally able to end their scoring drought. Keogh closed the third with the game-winning goal with only 19 seconds remaining in the quarter. Powless started the fourth by finding the back of the net. Vinc stood on his head in the second half as Edmonton only found the back of the net once. Vinc shut out the Rush for 26:22 from the end of the second quarter until Ryan Ward scored with six minutes left in the fourth. Despite finishing the regular season below .500, Rochester was able to win its first championship at home, and its first since 2007. Over the past five seasons, many veterans such as Williams have been replaced with younger players like Keogh, Jamieson and Powless. With the Champion’s Cup now in hand, the Knighthawks have proven what their young team can accomplish.


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