The Toronto Rock battled hard right until the final minute of the 2010 NLL Championship Game, but lost the decision 15-11 to the Washington Stealth in Everett, Washington on Saturday night.
“I’m real proud of the guys this year,” said Toronto’s head coach Troy Cordingley. “Knowing where the Rock were last season I’m proud to see where this team has come this year. It is a learning curve for us, I’m real proud. We are the blue and white.”
Bob Watson put up a fantastic performance in Toronto’s net all year, but especially tonight as he turned away 18 of 32 shots. Kasey Beirnes was the Rock’s leading goal scorer in the game with four.
The scoring started 59 seconds into the game in favour of the Stealth with two goals from Lewis Ratcliff and one from Paul Rabil. Last week’s game MVP Kasey Beirnes was the first to get on the board for Toronto followed by an outside sniper from rookie Garrett Billings. Berines struck again to tie the game with 21 seconds left in the quarter.
Blaine Manning gave the Rock their first lead of the night, with a power play goal followed by defender Rob Marshall. Beirnes was next, collecting his hat trick within the first half of the game. After 22 minutes of scoreless play the Stealth got past Watson with back-to-back goals from Rhys Duch and Ratcliff. Captain Colin Doyle opened up Toronto’s lead again heading into the second half with a 7-5 lead.
The third quarter ticked away as the first nine minutes fell off the clock without a single goal until Beirnes netted his fourth and Doyle netted his second on Richards. Rabil brought Washington to six, but Billings answered back with Toronto’s tenth of the night. Peter Morgan and Eric Martin ended the quarter for Washington.
The Stealth slide continued into the fourth, as Duch scored two, and Ratcliff and Cam Sedgwick scored the go ahead goals. Jeff Zywicki scored Washington’s 14th with four minutes remaining in the game. Stephan Leblanc scored Toronto’s first goal of the final quarter to make him the only rookie to score in all 19 2010 NLL games this season, but it was not enough as Toronto lost the contest solidified with an empty net goal from Mike Grimes.
The Toronto Rock, a team that no one thought would make the playoffs in 2010, ended their season with a 11-8 record through 16 regular season games, and three in the post-season.
“It was an honour to be part of a team like this,” said Rock captain Colin Doyle. “I learned a lot about these guys and hope that they did the same with me. I’m proud to go to war with these guys every week.”