Oakville, ON – The Toronto Rock opened training camp on Saturday afternoon at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC) in Oakville, Ontario with veterans, free agents and rookies all hitting the floor. This was the first time together for the team since the passing of General Manager Terry Sanderson on Thursday.
Following an emotional address to the team from Rock Owner and President Jamie Dawick and Head Coach John Lovell, the players were charged up and ready to shake the rust off and get their sticks going.
“I liked our spirit, enthusiasm and determination,” Lovell said of the opening day of camp. “It was a little tentative at times. Some of the drills were new for some of the guys. The quality of the conditioning and the quality of the players is really high. We have some really good players here, the best I’ve seen at any camp I have been at.”
The players will have two days off to rest up for Tuesday’s second day of training camp which will shift its focus a little bit from Saturday’s session.
“We will work more on the style we want to play,” explained Lovell. “Begin to work on the kind of team we want to be defensively and offensively and just how we’re going to play. We’re still going to go up and down the floor and there’s still going to be some battles, in terms of 3 on 3 to see how guys respond under a bit of duress. Then we need to see who can play in a real exhibition game.”
That exhibition game is just a week away. On Saturday, December 6th at 7pm at the TRAC, the Rock will host the Calgary Roughnecks.
Josh Sanderson and Shawn Williams did not participate during the first day of camp due to personal reasons. Garrett Billings, Bill Greer and Patrick Merrill all had maintenance days and watched the first training camp session from the stands.
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