Toronto – The Toronto Rock (6-2) and Rochester Knighthawks (4-3) were close in the early going but the Rock pulled away over the final 45 minutes.
Lead changes were the theme of the opening quarter as both Rochester and Toronto held multiple leads through the first 15 minutes. However, when all was said and done, the game was tied 3-3.
Rochester drew first blood in the second quarter going up 4-3. Kasey Beirnes, who had two goals in the opening quarter, continued his scoring pace in the second quarter with another pair of goals to propel the Rock into the lead. Garrett Billings added another goal before the quarter was done to give Toronto a 6-4 lead at the half.
The Rock pushed their lead to three goals as Billings scored his second of the game. Shawn Williams responded for Rochester shaving the Rock lead back to two goals at 7-5 after three quarters.
The Rock were awarded a penalty shot just past the four-minute mark and Kasey Beirnes continued to carry a hot stick burying a shot past Matt Vinc for his fifth of the game to put Toronto up 8-5.
Billings netted his third of the game and Blaine Manning also scored giving the Rock a five-goal lead that stood until the final buzzer.
Goaltender Bob Watson made 32 saves in the Rock goal and earned his 100th career win in the process.
Prior to the game, the Rock learned the fate of Ryan Sharp and as previously suspected, he will be out for the year with a torn MCL and ACL. As a result, Sharp was moved to the Injured Reserve and Glen Bryan was signed to the Active Roster.
Tomorrow night, the Rock will play the back half of the weekend set in Rochester at the Blue Cross Arena; game time is 7:35pm ET.