GAME PREVIEW: Rock vs. Rush
Garrett Billings had 2G-5A-7PTS the last time the Rock played in Edmonton on Feb 28th, but it was the Rush who won the game 11-10.
Game Preview: Rock vs. Rush
Sunday, March 30th 2014
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
The Rock put up a valiant effort in Philadelphia on the 22nd, but were unable to sneak out with the win, losing a close one 14-13 to the Wings. Powerhouse Garrett Billings led the team yet again with 3G-7A for 10 points followed by Rob Hellyer with 3G-3A for 6 points.
The Rush continue to hold on to their unprecedented undefeated season, which includes one win against the Rock. The team fought hard and entered the 4th quarter with the score knotted at 6, but were unable to hold on and take the win from the strongest team in the NLL.
Heading into Sunday’s game, the Rock sit third in the East Division, four and a half games back of the Rochester Knighthawks and three and a half back of the Buffalo Bandits. A victory will help push the Rock one step closer to clinching a playoff spot in the East as they will hold the head-to-head divisional tie breaker over both Philadelphia and Minnesota.
The Rock made some big moves at the trade deadline by sending transition player Kyle Belton and a 2nd and 4th round pick in 2014 NLL Draft to the Philadelphia Wings for veteran goaltender Brandon Miller. Head Coach John Lovell made it official at practice this week, announcing that Miller will start against Edmonton on Sunday.
The Rock added more depth by picking up free agent defender Jimmy Purves, who was released by the Rochester Knighthawks, and free agent forward Kevin Ross who was released by the Philadelphia Wings. In order to make room on the roster, the Rock released both Dustin Dunn and A.J. Masson. Veteran Defenceman Chris White has been placed on injured reserve after breaking his foot. On the day of the NLL’s roster freeze deadline, the Rock announced that they had signed defenceman Cam Woods to the practice roster. Woods, who announced his retirement prior to the 2014 season, was part of the Rock’s 2011 championship team. Mike Lum-Walker was added to the active roster and Eric Law was placed on the holdout list.
Injury Report :
D Nick Diachenko (Lower Body)
D Chris White (Lower Body)
Edmonton continues to have a dream season going undefeated through 11 games and setting a new record of unbeaten games to start the season breaking the old record of 8. The Rush are coming off a strong outing at home versus Buffalo, shutting down the Bandits offence and winning the game 14-5. The Rush will have what could be their biggest test of the season on Saturday as they play the East leading Knighthawks on the road in Rochester. The Rush squeaked out an 8-7 OT victory the last time the two teams met at Rexall Place in Edmonton on February 1st.
Even though their defence is their strength, you can’t overlook the offensive prowess of Mark Matthews, Cory Conway, Curtis Knight, Zack Greer, Robert Church and Riley Loewen. They may not be leading the league in points, but together they spread the ball around and score the timely goals needed to be undefeated through 11 games.
The Rush’s defence is second to none. Led by captain Chris Corbeil, Kyle Rubisch, Ryan Dilks, and Brett Mydske the Rush have been able to shut down the league’s best offences and have yet to surrender more than 10 goals in any game this season. Draw man Jeremy Thompson is among the league leaders in face-off’s won (141).
Between The Pipes:
Aaron Bold continues his career season and leads all goaltenders in most categories including wins (10) save percentage (.814) and has a sparkling 7.88 GAA. Bold has been named 1st star in four of Edmonton’s victories this season.
Who To Watch:
Last time the Rush played the Rock Mark Matthews and Riley Loewen each had 2G-2A-4PTS. Cory Conway led the Rush with 2G-3A-5PTS. The entire Rush defence consistently shuts down the league’s best offensive players.
Sunday’s game will be the annual Toronto Rock Charity Game with $1 from each ticket sold going directly to Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities. The Rock will wear throwback jerseys from the 99/00 season which will be auctioned off after the game. Click Here to register for the live jersey auction.
Upper bowl tickets for the game are ONLY $10. Get Tickets Now