ROCK WIN STREAK SNAPPED WITH LOSS TO BLACK WOLVES - February 24
Toronto Drops First Road Game Of The Season
Uncasville, CT – Just when it looked as though the Rock were on their way to their seventh straight win, their opponents woke up. The New England Black Wolves (6-4) outscored Toronto (7-2) 6-1 in the fourth quarter to come back and defeat the Rock 13-11 on Sunday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
The road loss is the first in four games away from home for the Rock this season. The loss also snaps Toronto’s six-game winning streak that started way back on January 4 against Philadelphia at home.
“Overall, top to bottom, that’s not going to get it done on the road against a good team, lesson learned hopefully,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer following the loss. “We’ll use this game as a lesson and maybe it’s a good reality check for us, but we’ve been pretty good this year and that was the first (game) we haven’t been too happy with our effort and execution.”
After giving up the first two goals of the game in the first minute of play, the Rock appeared to rebound and settle into a groove. Toronto led 9-7 at the half and the power play was two-for-two. The game had the type of rhythm that had fuelled the Rock’s win streak of a half dozen contests.
In the third, Tom Schreiber scored the only goal of the quarter for the Rock and stretched their lead to 10-7 while the defence held the Black Wolves without a goal in the frame. However, the home side wasn’t done.
Five goals spread out over 2:56 gave New England a 12-10 lead just 4:08 into the fourth quarter. Challen Rogers made it a one-goal game but the Black Wolves had an answer for the Rock captain’s goal a short time later to make the score 13-11.
With just under five minutes to play, Black Wolves’ star Callum Crawford met Rock defender Brad Kri with a leaping elbow to the head and earned a five-minute major for an illegal body check and a game misconduct.
The Rock power play, that was very reliable in the first half, was unable to score over the final almost five minutes of play and the Black Wolves hung on for the win and improved to 5-1 at home this season.
Schreiber celebrated his 27th birthday with three goals and three assists for a six-point game to lead all Rock scorers, but the individual success was washed away with the loss. “At the end of the day, they made more plays than we did in the fourth quarter when it mattered. Toward the end (of the game), I think we did some good stuff but (the shots) just didn’t fall. You have to give credit to their goaltender and their defence. It stings, it’s never fun losing,” said Schreiber.
Adam Jones and Rob Hellyer each scored twice while Rogers, Dan Craig, Dan Lintner and Johnny Powless all chipped in with singles. Crawford led New England with three goals and five assists, taking over the NLL scoring lead with eight points on the afternoon, running his season total to 70 in 10 games.
The Rock will have a bye week to begin the month of March and then play their second of two consecutive road games when they travel to Calgary on Saturday, March 9 for their only meeting with the Roughnecks this season. Toronto will return home to Scotiabank Arena on Saturday, March 16 to play the Rochester Knighthawks.