ROCK STEAMROLL BANDITS IN 13-9 WIN
Toronto Continues Winning Ways At Home
Toronto, ON – The Toronto Rock (5-2) kept pace with the frontrunners in the North Division by defeating the Buffalo Bandits (6-2) by a score of 13-9 on Sunday afternoon at Scotiabank Arena. The win was the Rock’s third in a row at home, all of which have come against North Division foes.
The win was big for the Rock for many reasons, but most importantly, the triumph evens up the season series with the Bandits at one game apiece with the rubber match set for Mar. 13 in Toronto.
“We were pretty good in the first, but I thought overall the game was sloppy. Had we been a little bit sharper, maybe we could have had a bit more separation than 8-8 (at the half), but it’s a good win for us for sure,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer.
The Rock’s Nick Rose outdueled Matt Vinc in the Buffalo net. That might be an understatement, because Rose held the Bandits completely off the scoresheet for almost the entire second half and 29:07 overall en route to the victory. Rose finished the day with 44 saves to Vinc’s 34.
“We came out hot in the first quarter, but the second quarter kind of got away from us,” said Rose. “A great second half for us, defensively that was probably our best half of the season and the offence was great all night. It was a great team win.”
The Rock jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Bandits rallied to draw within a goal, scoring a pair just 20 seconds apart with just over a minute to go in the first quarter.
The second quarter was the busiest on the scoreboard with the two teams combining for 11 goals. Reid Reinholdt scored at the 6:07 mark of the frame to put the Rock up 5-4. The significance of the marker didn’t belong to the goal scorer, but to one of the setup men, Dan Dawson. The assist was his first of four in the game and the 900th of his NLL career. Both teams continued to fill the net at at halftime the game was tied 8-8.
In the third, Rose stopped 17 shots and Dave Brock scored the lone Rock goal to put Toronto ahead 9-8 with 15 minutes to play.
With just over three minutes gone in the fourth quarter, the spotlight once again shined down on Scott Dominey. He didn’t disappoint, bringing the crowd to their feet with a breakaway goal reminiscent of days gone by and former Rock breakaway legend Steve Toll. Dominey’s goal kickstarted a three-goal run that put the contest out of reach and for the second game in a row, David Brock iced the game with an empty net goal.
The Rock were led by Dan Dawson (3G, 4A) and Rob Hellyer (3G, 2A) who each had hat tricks. Brock had a pair and singles came from Dominey, Zach Manns, Challen Rogers, Josh Jubenville and Reid Reinholdt.
The three-game homestand wraps up next weekend on Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Rock face the Vancouver Warriors at Scotiabank Arena. Fans can watch the game on Bleacher Report Live, Rogers Ignite and Digital TV.