ROCK SEASON ENDS WITH 12-8 LOSS IN BUFFALO
Toronto Battles Right To The End
Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Bandits pulled away in the fourth quarter, defeating the Toronto Rock 12-8 on Saturday night in the East Division Championship Game at Buffalo’s KeyBank Center. Buffalo now advances to the NLL Finals to face the Calgary Roughnecks.
“Ultimately, they were better than us here tonight,” said Rock Head Coach following the tough loss. “We struggled in the first half and dug ourselves a bit too much of a hole. We surged back at the end and made a game of it. We just made a few too many mistakes tonight and took too long to get going all over the floor. We fought right to the end and (this experience) is something we’ll have to build on.”
Every one of the four goals in the first quarter were scored in the opening five minutes of the frame. Each Buffalo goal was answered by a Rock goal and the score was tied 2-2 at the end of one.
After a long stretch without any goals, Rock captain Challen Rogers got things going on the power play to give Toronto the lead 4-3. It was all Bandits from there with the home side scoring four in a row to lead 6-3 at the half. It would have been five in a row had it not been for a challenge by Sawyer, taking away a Bandits goal after review.
Buffalo built an 8-3 lead before Kieran McArdle broke up a five-goal run off a shot after some great east-west ball movement by the Rock. A Rock power play goal and a long bomb from Adam Jones brought Toronto back to within two, trailing 8-6 after three quarters.
Jones scored three minutes into the fourth quarter to make it a one-goal game at 8-7. The Bandits kept coming and four straight goals, including an empty net tally were too much for the Rock to overcome. Jones finished the scoring for the Rock.
Jones led the Rock attack with four goals and three assists for a seven-point night. Rogers had a pair of goals with singles coming from McArdle and Brock Sorensen.