ROCK RALLY TO CLIP WINGS 13-12 - January 26
Toronto Overcomes Early 4-0 Deficit To Win
Philadelphia, PA – It took the Toronto Rock (5-1) over 51 minutes to finally get a lead, but once they led, they never trailed, edging the Philadelphia Wings (0-6) by a score of 13-12 on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.
“We’ll take the win, we’re not going to give that one back,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “They came out and dominated us in every area. It’s a good lesson for us, we need to prepare better and be more committed than we were in the first 45 (minutes).”
The game was very physical and things boiled over into a lot of pushing and shoving after whistles through the middle portion of the game and eventually into a fight between the Rock’s Bill Hostrawser and Philadelphia’s Chet Koneczny.
The Philadelphia fans were loud and engaged from the opening faceoff and the Wings fed off the crowd, jumping out to a 4-0 lead just 3:39 into the first quarter. The two teams traded goals and the Rock were down 5-1 after one.
Down 6-1 off the hop in the second, the Rock started get their feet under them. Toronto scored three in a row to trim the gap to 6-4. Jones netted his second goal of the game during that run, which was his 50th career tally as a Rock. In the final minute of the half, the Wings scored to carry a 7-4 lead into the half.
With the score 9-5 in the third, things were starting to look bleak for the Rock. Especially after Dan Lintner scored to make it 9-6, only to have the Wings answer back again to restore a four-goal lead making it 10-6 after 45 minutes.
Excuse the repetition, but as you’ll recall from the last meeting between these two teams in early January, there was a moment in the game when it was time to cue the comeback.
The Rock caught fire and scored five straight goals to open the fourth quarter scoring. Tom Schreiber and Rob Hellyer each had two and Jay Thorimbert scored his first as a Rock. The five goals gave the Rock an 11-10 lead just 6:22 into the fourth quarter.
Philadelphia answered that goal to tie the score 11-11 and that scenario repeated itself as the game sat tied 12-12. Rob Hellyer, already with a pair, scored his third of the game, beating his defender underneath, leaping in the air and putting the ball over the left shoulder of Wings goaltender Doug Buchan. That goal stood over the final 2:59 and the Rock had deposited another early season win in the bank.
“We’ve got a great team in there with a bunch of guys who have bought in,” said Lintner. “We’ve had a few close games, but you put us in a situation like that and we’re not going to give up at all. Whether we’re down five or down one, we’re going to play as hard as we can.”
Nick Rose turned in another solid performance, making 40 saves including several clutch saves down the stretch to give the Rock a chance to win. Rose’s contributions weren’t lost on his teammates.
“He’s always been big for us,” said Jones. “I remember one save, (Kevin) Crowley got the ball in front of the net, looked like it was an easy goal, and he stuck has hand out and got the save. He played great and everyone picked it up in the fourth and that’s what makes a good team.”
Lintner, Hellyer and Jones all finished with three goals each. Schreiber, who was ill for most of Friday night and Saturday morning and missed morning shoot around, had a pair while Johnny Powless and Thorimbert each had one. Hellyer added 4 assists to finish with 7 points.
The Rock will return home on Friday night to face the defending NLL Champions, the Saskatchewan Rush at Scotiabank Arena. It’s also Country Night featuring a halftime performance from Jade Eagleson.