ROCK NEED EXTRA TIME IN WIN OVER CALGARY
Four Straight Wins For Toronto
Calgary, AB – The Toronto Rock (5-2) needed overtime to defeat the Calgary Roughnecks (3-3) by a score of 11-10 on Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. The Roughnecks scored three times in the final three minutes to force OT, but the Rock snatched the win on the first possession of the extra frame on Stephen Keogh’s third goal of the game.
“Each and every night is a different challenge and you’re dealt a different hand,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “Tonight is a game we’re going to look at and focus on what we did well, we feel like we’ll be a better team for having gone through that game. Up until this point, our wins have been pretty tidy and pretty one-sided, you’re going to have to win all different ways.”
The way this game started was definitely a sign of the chaos to come in this game. The Rock’s Corey Small scored on an early power play just 55 seconds into the game. The Roughnecks answered back just ten seconds later with a transition tally from Shane Simpson. The pace had been set and didn’t slow down all night. Toronto ran off the next three goals to lead 4-1 after one quarter.
Three more goals to begin the second quarter pushed the Rock ahead 7-1 when Keogh scored his second goal of the game. The Roughnecks weren’t going anywhere and continued to chip away at the Rock lead. With the score 7-4, Calgary goaltender Christian Del Bianco made a save, quickly scooped up the ball and pitched it down the floor to a streaking Jeff Cornwall who scored with just a fraction of second left on the clock to give the home side all the momentum going into halftime, despite trailing 7-5.
Corey Small scored a pair of goals in the third quarter, with one Calgary goal sandwiched in between, to give the Rock a 9-6 lead heading for home.
Dan Taylor scored to close the gap to 9-7. However, Tom Schreiber answered a couple of minutes later, scoring what felt like the dagger with 10:26 to go. The Rock defence and Nick Rose held the fort, but the Roughnecks had one last push in them.
Jesse King scored with 2:43 to go and Tyler Pace scored with 1:21 to go and suddenly we were in for a frantic finish. After a Rock defensive stop, Latrell Harris was transitioning the ball up the floor, the ball popped out of his stick and went out of play. After some discussion, the officials ruled that the Rock had called timeout as soon as Harris picked up the ball.
Coming out of the timeout, Challen Rogers started with the ball but had his outlet pass knocked down and the Roughnecks capitalized on the turnover with King scoring his second of the game to force overtime.
In the extra frame, TD Ierlan won the opening draw of OT and the Rock called timeout. On the opening possession, Dan Craig’s wild shot went over the goal, ricocheted right to Keogh in front of the net and he quickly cashed in the game winner to send the Rock home with their fourth straight win.
“It was definitely a crazy game,” said Keogh following the wild win. “Our defence is our backbone and they played strong all game. We only scored a few goals in the second half so hats off to them for keeping us in it, just a gutty win for us.”
Small finished the game with four goals, while Keogh had three. Schreiber had two goals and Craig and Dan Dawson each had singles. Craig added six assists for a seven-point game.
Nick Rose stopped 35 of 45 shots while Del Bianco made 32 saves on 43 shots. It marked the first time this season the Rock had been outshot in a game with Calgary holding that 45-43 edge.
The Rock power play was 2-for-5, while the Roughnecks came up empty with the man advantage going 0-for-3.
Tickets are on sale now for the Rock’s next home game at FirstOntario Centre on Saturday, February 4 against the New York Riptide at 7pm ET.