RUSH HOT START SINKS ROCK
Saskatchewan Beats Toronto 13-10 In Pre-Season Finale
Oakville, ON – The Toronto Rock found themselves in a 3-0 hole before you could say, ‘exhibition lacrosse’ on Saturday night, and were never able to recover, falling 13-10 to the Saskatchewan Rush at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre. The game was the final pre-season matchup for Toronto who finished with a 1-1-1 record in exhibition play.
“They came out ready to play and we weren’t ready to play,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “We had a much better second half, and there were some positives to draw from it. It was a little bit of a concern with how we started for the second week in a row.”
The Rush stormed out to a three-goal lead just 57 seconds into the first quarter, scoring on each of their first three shots on goal. They didn’t waste any time adding a fourth, less than three minutes in. From there, the game was pretty even overall, and Rock goaltender Nick Rose settled in to stop 38 of the next 46 shots he faced.
Rob Hellyer had his stick dialed in, scoring three goals to lead the Rock attack. The last two exhibition games have also shown that he and Dan Dawson appear to be developing some chemistry on the floor.
“I think the shot was just dropping for me,” said Hellyer. “Dan set a few good picks for me on the power play and I was able to put them in.”
The game wasn’t without its physical moments as well, highlighted by a rather impromptu scrap between Rock defender Sheldon Burns and Rush defender Kyle Rubisch. The skirmish turned into more of a wrestling match, but definitely underscored the dislike these two teams shared for each other in what was a relatively hostile exhibition contest.
The Toronto Rock will continue training camp on Tuesday at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, ON. The team cut down by one more player on Saturday when they released defender Brad Lyons. Final rosters, consisting of 21 players on the Active Roster and up to four players on the Practice Roster, must be submitted to the NLL on Monday.
This all leads us to the Toronto Rock home opener on Saturday, December 7 against the New England Black Wolves at Scotiabank Arena.