ROCK UNABLE TO FINISH THE SWARM IN OVERTIME

The Rock's first home game had electricity in the air and the game was equally charged. Coming into the game having won their first on the road in Chicago last weekend, the Rock were looking to make it a second win at home. In what would prove to be a high scoring, and physical affair that saw a combined 137 penalty minutes and three game misconducts, the Swarm spoiled Toronto's home opener in a close game and overtime win 17-16. The Rock quickly dominated early in the game and their attacks came furiously. The Rock took the lead with two goals from Aaron Wilson and Ryan Benesch. Minnesota's Ryan Sharp would put the Swarm on the board with an individual effort midway through the first but Blaine Manning's fifth goal of the season would make it a two goal lead finishing the first quarter. The second quarter saw the Swarm's offense wake up to rattle off the first three goals of the quarter, two each from Andy Secore and Ryan Ward. The Rock would battle through the quarter with Minnesota scoring four of their own goals and taking advantage of two power play opportunities. The score was 7-7 heading into halftime. After the break, Toronto immediately looked to assert itself on offense. After trading goals with Minnesota early in the quarter, the Rock took the lead on goals by Benesch, Josh Sanderson and the newly acquired Cam Woods who scored on a transition play to give Toronto a 12-9 midway through the third. The Toronto defense put a foot on the Swarm offense limiting them to only 10 shots on goal. Blaine Manning added to the lead on his third goal of the night in the final ten seconds of the stanza making the final after three quarters 13-10. The fourth would turn into a dogfight between the two teams. The Swarm stormed back scoring two quick goals in the first minute cutting the Toronto lead to one. With the game becoming intense early in the period, Rock defender Cam Woods would be given a game misconduct at the 2:13 mark for fighting with Minnesota's Travis Hill. Woods' ejection seemed to ignite the 13,317 fans in the hometown crowd as well as Sanderson who would score the next three Toronto goals giving the Rock a 16-14 lead with under three minutes to play. Toronto would incur two penalties at both the 11:17 and 12:24 marks giving the Swarm their window. Minnesota took the game right to the Rock defenders and despite a valiant effort and stellar play from goal keeper Bob Watson, the Swarm would go on to tie the game with 34 seconds left in the game forcing overtime. The Rock would win the opening face off in the extra period but were unable to convert on their opportunity in the Minnesota end. The Swarm would charge back into the Toronto area where Watson would stop three straight shots on goal before Ryan Cousins put in the game winner at the 1:27 mark. The Rock offense was led by Blaine Manning's eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) followed by the game leading goal scorer Josh Sanderson's 7 points on 6 goals and 1 assist. Eleven of the Rock's players would record a point tonight, including rookie Jay Winder who scored his first NLL goal of the season. Despite the loss, Toronto goalie Bob Watson had an excellent game stopping 40 of the 57 shots he faced, most in heavy traffic. The Swarm were led in scoring by Craig Point who recorded 8 points on 2 goals and 6 assists followed by Ryan Ward who had 7 on 5 goals and 2 assist. Minnesota goalkeeper Nick Patterson would go on to record the win. The Rock (1-1) will be looking for a little revenge tomorrow night as they face the Swarm once again in Minnesota at 8:00 p.m. EST.
T. Workman
 
 

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April 26, 2014
 
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