ROCK DOMINATE WARRIORS IN 14-5 WIN
The Toronto Rock (8-4) soundly defeated the Vancouver Warriors (5-6) by a score of 14-5 on Saturday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC. The win was the Rock’s sixth in their last seven games.
The Rock were held off the scoreboard for almost the entirety of the first quarter and if it wasn’t for a bit of an odd goal from Zach Manns with 43 seconds left in the first quarter, they would have trailed at the end of the opening 15 minutes. The Victoria, BC native’s goal tied the score 1-1.
That goal was the first of a five-goal run that put Toronto up 5-1 just 6:28 into the second quarter. The Warriors broke up the run, only to have Rob Hellyer complete the first half hat trick, giving the Rock a 6-2 lead at the break.
In the third quarter the Rock took complete control of the game, not allowing the Warriors a sniff on offence and burying six more goals of their own. Hellyer’s fourth of the game started the scoring and he bookended the scoring barrage with his fifth goal with just six seconds left in the third quarter.
With the Rock up 12-2 to begin the fourth quarter, both teams were pretty content to let the clock roll. Vancouver outscored the Rock 3-2 in the final frame to make the final 14-5.
TD Ierlan was dominant on faceoffs, winning 17 of 22 draws. However, it was a fourth quarter goal, the first of his career, that was the true highlight for the Rock rookie.
Nick Rose equaled his career-low goals against mark, allowing just five goals on 37 shots. He also allowed just five goals back on December 29, 2016, in a win over the Rochester Knighthawks.
“You could tell the boys were determined on the front end and the back end, the coaching staff was dialed in all week, we love coming out here to the west coast and it was a full team effort,” said Rose. “I gotta make some saves when the team needs it and I felt good early and then it carried out through the rest of the game.”
The Rock were 1-for-3 on the power play while the Warriors went 3-for-5 with the man advantage. Toronto outshot Vancouver 54-37.
Tonight’s Rock win, combined with a pair of Halifax (8-3) losses this weekend, have put Toronto to within just a half game of catching the Thunderbirds for second spot in the East conference. The Thunderbirds already have the tiebreaker against the Rock should the two teams finish tied in the standings.
The Rock’s next game will be back at home, next Saturday, March 26 against the Georgia Swarm at 5pm ET at FirstOntario Centre. With Dan Dawson sitting out tonight’s win due to injury, should he be healthy in time, he would break the NLL’s all-time games played record in the upcoming game against the Swarm passing John Tavares. He is also just two assists away from setting a new NLL all-time assists record, currently held by Tavares.