ROCK RUN OUT OF TIME IN LOSS TO CALGARY- Sunday,March 8
Defending Champs Down Rock 13-10
Toronto, ON – The Toronto Rock (7-4) saw their four-game home winning streak come to an end on Sunday afternoon, falling 13-10 to the defending NLL champion, Calgary Roughnecks (5-5) at Scotiabank Arena.
“It was an uncharacteristic game for us,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “We felt we weren’t mentally sharp in a lot of areas and it’s just not the kind of performance to be successful. We’ll be better next week, we have no other choice.
“They came out and had a bit more jump than us. We weren’t at our best, but we still hung around in that game. We just gave up too many opportunities and there were too many missed opportunities by us.”
The Rock’s Dan Craig scored the first goal of the game, but that was the only lead Toronto would hold on the afternoon. The Rock fell behind 3-1 in the first but transition goals from David Brock and Damon Edwards evened the score, 3-3 at the end of one.
The two teams combined for ten goals in a wild second quarter, but Calgary surged ahead, leading 9-7 at the half. Tom Schreiber was moved to the Active Roster prior to the game and showed few signs of rust, scoring twice in the frame, both were classic ‘Captain America’ goals.
A goal just 49 seconds into the second half from Calgary’s Dan Taylor may have been the backbreaker. While the game was far from over, the Rock were now facing a three-goal deficit under a minute into the third quarter. After falling behind 11-7, Challen Rogers and Rob Hellyer scored for the Rock to draw back to within two, trailing 11-9 at the end of three.
Another early Calgary goal stretched the Roughnecks’ lead to three goals, 12-9. Spark plug Scott Dominey scored a transition goal, just past the seven-minute mark, to once again make it a two-goal game. The Rock could get no closer and just ran out of time while the Roughnecks added an empty net goal to seal the win, 13-10.
While Nick Rose did give up nine goals in the first half, he stopped 17 of the 20 shots he faced in the second half and gave his teammates a chance to take a run at the Roughnecks over the final 30 minutes.
The Rock offence was led by Hellyer’s two goals and three assists, while Schreiber scored twice in his first game since Jan. 11. Josh Jubenville, Edwards, Rogers, Brock, Dominey and Craig all scored once.
Dan Dawson also returned to the lineup today after missing last week’s game with a lower body injury. He finished the game with three assists, the second helper pushed him into second place all-time, passing Josh Sanderson at 908, and Dawson now has 910 career assists. He trails all-time leader John Tavares (924) by just 14 assists.
The Rock were 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Roughnecks were 2-for-5.
The Rock continue a three-game homestand when they take on the Buffalo Bandits on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Arena on Indigenous Heritage Night. It’s also the Rock’s annual charity game and fans can register now for the live post-game jersey auction at torontorock.com/auction. The jerseys the Rock will wear will be revealed on Monday.