ROCK CLIP WINGS 12-7
Toronto Stays On Top Of The East With Victory
Hamilton, ON – The Toronto Rock (13-4) were all business in their 12-7 win over the Philadelphia Wings (7-9) on Saturday night at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, ON in front of 10,320 fans.
The Buffalo Bandits (12-4) also won tonight, defeating New York in OT, to keep pace with the Rock at the top of the East Conference. That result sets up next Saturday’s Rock vs. Bandits battle in Buffalo, NY for top spot that will give one team home floor advantage in the East playoffs.
One of the Rock’s major offseason free agent acquisitions Chris Corbeil (Oakville, ON) had missed the entire season due to a torn pectoral muscle, finally made his Rock debut on Saturday.
“It was awesome, my parents were here, I had uncles and aunts here, I had cousins here,” said Corbeil. “I had people messaging me that I hadn’t talked to in years saying, ‘hey, I saw you were back in the lineup, I’m going to come out and watch you,’ it is special coming back home to play.”
Also, back in the lineup after missing the Rock’s win over the Bandits, legendary Rock forward Dan Dawson scored the first two goals of the game to stake the home side to a 2-0 lead. The Wings battled back to even the score 2-2. Tom Schreiber restored the Rock lead only to see the Wings answer back to tie the score 3-3 after one.
The Rock truly settled in during the second quarter, getting stops on defence and capitalizing on their scoring chances. Toronto outscored Philadelphia 5-1 in the frame to take an 8-4 lead at the half.
Wings’ forward Mitch Jones continued to carry a hot stick, scoring the first goal of the second half to close the gap to 8-5. Corey Small was able to push the Rock back ahead just moments after the Jones tally. However, the Wings and Jones closed the gap to 9-6, giving the visitors a chance to stage a comeback in the final frame.
Schreiber had other ideas.
Just 1:22 into the fourth quarter, Schreiber struck for his second goal of the game to put the Rock up 10-6. Just over two minutes later, with a Wings penalty about to expire, Schreiber orchestrated a goal that was truly a thing of beauty.
Just as the penalty was about to expire, Schreiber pulled the ball out and backed away from his defender to give the impression that the Rock were going to reset their offence and play 5-on-5 once the Wings player rejoined the play from the penalty box. As soon as he recognized the Wings had relaxed on defence, he fired an absolute rocket of an underhand shot past an unsuspecting Zach Higgins to give the Rock an 11-6 lead.
The two teams traded goals in the late going to round out the scoring and give the Rock the 12-7 decision.
The Schreiber celebration of excellence wasn’t done there. His assist on the Rock’s final goal was point number eight, giving him 112 for the season with one game to go. Captain America’s point total is one better than the 111-point total that stood as the best single-season mark by an American-born NLL player, established last season by Joe Resetarits while with the Albany FireWolves.
“I wasn’t aware of it,” said Schreiber of the mark. “I’m just looking to be a little more efficient on the floor, I feel like our team and our offence has made some strides forward in the last two games. We have really played together as a unit. I’m happy with (the record) and we’re focused on Buffalo next week.”
The Rock were 1-for-2 on the power play while the Wings were 2-for-4 with the man advantage. Toronto outshot Philadelphia 64-42. Nick Rose won his 13th game of the season, which leads the league.
Tickets are on sale now for the Rock’s NLL Quarterfinals single-elimination playoff game on Friday, May 5 at FirstOntario Centre.