With the NLL Draft coming up in just a few weeks, training camp a few months away, and free agency well underway its time to start looking ahead to the 2019-2020 season. This season is a little different as it will mark the beginning of a new decade. First, let’s take a look back at the 2010s and see who was the Team of The Decade in the NLL.
Others Considered: Saskatchewan Rush,
Now the Halifax Thunderbirds, the Rochester Knighthawks dominated the decade that was the 2010s. During this past decade they made four NLL finals appearances and won three consecutive titles to claim the first and three-peat in league history.
In addition, the Knighthawks made the playoffs six times this decade (2011-2015, 2018). They appeared in the Eastern division semifinals in 2011, Eastern division final in 2015, and the finals in 2018.
Rochester’s dominance had been churning with the amount of high level players that had on their roster, but finally broke through in 2012 when they defeated the Edmonton Rush 9-6 to claim their third championship in franchise history.
In 2013, Rochester defeated the Washington Stealth 11-10 to capture the NLL championship, and in 2014 they defeated the Calgary Roughnecks 2-1 in the NLL Finals series to complete their three-peat. In 2012 and 2013, Cody Jameison was named Championship Game MVP while Dan Dawson was named Final MVP in 2014. Jameison was also named the league MVP in 2014, as well.
In addition to Jameison and Dawson, goalie Matt Vinc was a huge part of the Rochester franchise and in part a key figure during their three-peat run. Vinc won goaltender of the year in 2013 and 2014 after their championships, and also claimed the award in 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2018.
Some other notable players that the Knighthawks had on their roster during this decade, and especially during their championship years include Joe Walters, Johnny Powless, Stephen Keogh, Scott Campbell, and Cory Vitarelli.
The old Rochester Knightahwks may be in Halifax now, and many fans are still bitter even with a new Rochester Knightahwks expansion team, but they were in fact the team of 2010s as they dominated the league more than anyone else did.