The Toronto Rock host the Rochester Knighthawks in their final regular season game of the 2010 National Lacrosse League season on Friday, April 16. Game time at the Air Canada Centre is 7:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on TSN2, tape delayed till 11:00 p.m. ET.
The Rock (8-7) can clinch a playoff berth with a win at home or can back-door their way in with a Boston Blazers loss to the Colorado Mammoth or a Buffalo Bandits loss against the Orlando Titans. Toronto also has the ability to take a second place finish, which would secure an opening round home playoff game, with a win and a Buffalo loss.
With three remaining playoff spots available in the East Division each remaining game must be treated as a must-win for all teams. Last weekend Toronto was unable to clinch a post-season berth after falling 13-10 to the Buffalo Bandits.
“Last week was what we consider a playoff game and we got thoroughly outworked,” said Rock GM and assistant coach Terry Sanderson. “It was untimely for us to put out that kind of effort.”
Even though the Rock struggled back from a 7-2 deficit in the second quarter with the help of five power play goals, captain Colin Doyle doesn’t think Toronto deserved to win last weekend in Buffalo due to lack of hunger and performance. This week is a different story for him and the team.
“As players, we need to be better prepared this weekend,” said Doyle. “You can’t guarantee wins, but hard work and preparation can be guaranteed.”
After a good practice on Tuesday night, the Rock will need to stay focused to get past the Rochester Knighthawks (7-7) who are coming off two wins last week taking the Minnesota Swarm and Philadelphia Wings to snap a four-game losing streak.
K’Hawks assistant captain John Grant Jr. leads Rochester in scoring with 72 points from 31 goals and 41 assists.
“You have to watch out for any team with John Grant Jr., Shawn Williams, and Gary Gait,” said Sanderson. “If you see a left side coming at you like that, there is automatically so much respect from us.”
Rochester’s top three on offence combine for 179 points while Doyle, Garrett Billings, and Stephan Leblanc from the Rock have posted 238.
Fans across Canada will be able to watch Toronto’s final regular season game on TSN2 at 11:00 p.m. ET. Those outside of Canada can tune into the NLL Network web stream online at www.nll.com.
“The ball has never moved as well as it has all year as it did at practice on Tuesday,” added Sanderson. “If that is a sign of things to come tomorrow, then we’ll be in the right.”