BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo Bandits (5-1) won their fifth consecutive game by defeating the Toronto Rock (2-3) by a score of 12-10 on Saturday night in Buffalo, NY at the First Niagara Center. The road loss was the third in a row for the Rock who have yet to earn a victory away from Air Canada Centre this season.
Buffalo drew first blood in a penalty filled opening 15 minutes which saw a total of nine minors assessed. Toronto tied the score on a Kasey Beirnes tally. Each team scored once more to finish the first quarter deadlocked at 2-2.
The parade to the penalty box continued in the second quarter with 5 of the 8 goals coming on special teams in the frame. Buffalo built a 5-3 lead only to see it evaporate with a pair of Rock power play goals finding the net as Josh Sanderson and a fiery Garrett Billings struck for man advantage markers. The Bandits would however score the final two goals of the half to lead 7-5 at the break.
To open the second half the Rock scored three times in 1:24 early moments of the 3rd quarter to take their first lead of the game, 8-7. Buffalo wouldn’t tie it up until the late stages of the third and added another to regain the lead 9-8 as the quarter came to an end.
The Rock tied the score 9-9 with a powerplay goal from Beirnes 4:17 into the fourth quarter. Buffalo’s ensuing three-goal run put the game out of reach as the Rock could only muster one more goal before the final buzzer.
Billings had another big night and collected his 400th career NLL point when he registered an assist on Sanderson’s first quarter goal.
The Rock were led offensively by five-point nights from Garrett Billings (2 goals, 3 assists) and Stephan Leblanc (2 goals, 3 assists). Josh Sanderson recorded a hat-trick and added an assist. Kasey Beirnes had a pair of goals while Rob Hellyer scored once.
Tickets for Bachly Construction Garrett Billings bobblehead night February 7th are now on sale. The Rock will face Philadelphia on that evening at 7:30pm at Air Canada Centre. For more information, please visit www.torontorock.com or phone 416-596-3075 to speak with a ticket representative get your hands on the BEST ticket in town.