ROCK WIN EARNS THEM TOP PLAYOFF SEED

The Road To The NLL Cup Goes Through Rock City

Hamilton, ON – The Toronto Rock (14-3) defeated the Rochester Knighthawks (6-10) by a score of 13-6 on Saturday night at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, ON in front of 11,256 fans.  The win clinched the NLL’s top playoff seed for the Rock, and it also equaled the highest win total in franchise history with one game remaining in the regular season.

“It feels great any time we get a win for our fans here especially on fan appreciation night and our last regular season home game,” said Nick Rose who continued to solidify his case for NLL Goalie of the Year and has more than thrown his goalie mask in the ring for MVP consideration.  “Clinching the number one seed, it’s been a long season but for us to be able to play most of our playoff games here is going to be crucial.”

The victory moved Rose to 108 career wins and passed Pat O’Toole for sole possession of second place in all-time wins.  Oddly enough, O’Toole was also part of this game serving as an assistant coach on the Knighthawks bench.

The Rock played their most dominant half of the season, outshooting the Knighthawks 42-14 after 30 minutes and holding a 10-1 lead that truly was all they would need to secure a win.

Challen Rogers played his first home game in over two months and for the second week in a row started the scoring for the Rock.  Rogers was dominant in the first quarter, scoring twice and setting up two others, factoring in on the first four Rock goals in the opening frame.  Rochester scored but once as the Rock led 5-1 after one.

It was more of the same in the second quarter.  Rose didn’t allow a goal and offence kept rolling.  Chris Boushy and Corey Small both scored twice, each adding to their single tallies in the first quarter, to complete first half hat-tricks.  Small also picked up an assist on a Mark Matthews power play goal, the 500th helper of his NLL career.  The spotless 15 minutes gave the Rock a 10-1 lead at the half.  Four of the Rock’s goals in the quarter came on the power play as Rochester took four minor penalties and one major penalty.

More special teams play highlighted a low scoring third quarter.  The Rock were held without a goal with Rylan Hartley stepping into the Knighthawks’ net for starter Riley Hutchcraft.  Rochester got a pair of late goals to trim the Rock lead to 10-3.

Rochester scored the first two goals, the teams sandwiched a single tally each between the final two goals of the game, both scored by the Rock.  Boushy scored one late to give him a four-goal game and earned third star honours.  Rogers got the nod as the first star, with Rose getting the second star.

“I think we’re getting better every game in certain areas,” said Boushy.  “Whether or not we’re bringing it for one part, we’re definitely improving in another. So I think these are all good signs that when it matters, we have the stuff to put together a full 60.”

Toronto outshot Rochester 64-50 which a season high total for the Rock.  Rose made 44 saves and picked up an assist.

The Rock were 4-for-11 on the power play, while the Knighthawks were 2-for-5 on the man up.

Next weekend, the Rock will wrap up the regular season with a game at Saskatchewan.  The game will now be exclusive to TSN+ at 9:30pm ET.  Following that, it’s on to the playoffs, and the Rock will host the NLL Quarterfinals on Saturday, April 27 at 4:30pm at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton.

For more information on Toronto Rock tickets, please contact a Toronto Rock account executive by phone at 416-596-3075, by email at tickets@torontorock.com or visit torontorock.com.

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