ROCK DEFEAT WINGS IN PRE-SEASON OPENER, 10-8
The Toronto Rock defeated the Philadelphia Wings by a score of 10-8 on Saturday night in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The victory makes Toronto’s Halifax record a perfect 2-0, after defeating Montreal 13-9 in a 2001 exhibition game at Metro Centre.
Toronto held a 5-2 lead after a tight first half that featured a number of quality saves from Philadelphia’s Matt Roik and Toronto’s Bob Watson.
The third quarter belonged to the Wings. Philadelphia scored four goals in a 3:20 span, including a single from Shawn Nadelen and a natural hat trick from first round draft pick Athan Iannucci to hand the Wings their first lead since the opening minutes at 6-5.
After Toronto drew level on Doyle’s third goal of the game, Dan Finck worked the crowd up by finding the back of the net. With four minutes to play Finck collected a rebound in front of the net and placed the ball over Bob Watson.
The fourth quarter was a see-saw battle, eventually tipping the way of the Rock. Toronto took the lead with goals from Josh Sanderson and Rusty Kruger before Marc Morley replied to knot the game 8-8.
Sanderson put the Rock up for good with just over five minutes remaining, collecting a loose ball behind the goal, forcing his way out front before putting the ball in the Philadelphia net. Aaron Wilson scored his second of the game in the dying minutes to salt away the victory.
Rock forwards Colin Doyle and Josh Sanderson had a hat trick apiece and the win gave head coach Glenn Clark his first win behind the bench.
Doyle, named player of the game, believed that the Rock got what they needed out of the contest.
“You always want to win, but the pre-season is more to work the kinks out,” he said. “With the exception of one or two guys, that’s close to our starting lineup so it’s nice to get in there and work with everybody.
“I’m sure the advantages of a game like this, this early on, will show up mid-January or mid-February.”
The Rock continue their pre-season schedule next Friday night, December 1st when they host the Arizona Sting at the new General Motors Centre in Oshawa, ON. Game time at 7:30 p.m.