St. Paul, MN – The Toronto Rock (5-2) were defeated by the Minnesota Swarm (2-3) by a score of 13-12 in overtime as Tyler Hass scored the game winning goal 4:30 into the sudden death extra period on Friday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Rock started slowly and trailed the Swarm 4-1 twelve and a half minutes into the opening quarter. Kasey Beirnes scored late to draw the Rock to within a pair, trailing 4-2 after one.
Toronto would outscore Minnesota 5-3 in the second frame on the strength of a pair of power play goals. The game tying seventh Toronto goal came from Blaine Manning with just a second remaining in the half.
The third quarter was a stalemate with each team putting a pair of goals on the board. The Rock jumped out to an 8-7 lead only to see Minnesota respond with a pair of goals to regain the edge. Manning scored very late in the quarter, this time with five seconds left, to once again tie the game this time 9-9.
Each team scored once in the fourth quarter before Minnesota scored a pair and gained a two-goal lead. With less than two minutes left, it appeared as though Minnesota might be on their way to victory.
However, a too many men call with less than two minutes to play against the Swarm resulted in a Toronto penalty shot. Beirnes would connect on the penalty shot and the Rock were down by just one, 12-11. On the next possession, the Rock pulled their goalie to go 6-on-5 and captain Colin Doyle dove from behind the goal and wrapped the ball around in to the net to tie the score and force overtime.
Each team had some brilliant opportunities to finish the game in the extra frame, but it was Hass scoring his 3rd goal of the game that ended it and sent the Minnesota faithful home happy.
Stephan Leblanc was the big point producer for the Rock with a goal and 6 assists for a 7-point game. Beirnes was the top goal-getter with three, while Manning’s pair of goals gave him 300 for his career.
Toronto’s next home game will be Friday, February 15 when they host the Calgary Roughnecks at Air Canada Centre at 7:30pm. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a limited edition Colin Doyle bobblehead courtesy of Bachly Construction. For the best ticket in town, visit www.torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.