Toronto, ON – The Edmonton Rush (6-4) defeated the Toronto Rock (10-3) by a score of 11-9 to hand the Rock their first loss of the season at home on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre.
After over 12 minutes with just one goal on the board on the home side, Edmonton crept ahead 2-1 with a pair of goals 48 seconds apart. Toronto’s Kasey Beirnes tied the score with 49 seconds left in the first quarter to finish the opening 15 minutes tied 2-2.
Robert Church opened the second quarter scoring 3:36 into the quarter, giving the Rush a 3-2 lead. The Rock took advantage of a high sticking major assessed to Edmonton’s Jeremy Thompson to bag a couple of powerplay markers in the late stages of the first half to lead 4-3 at halftime.
Just prior to the end of the first half, Rock leading scorer Rob Hellyer left the game with an upper body injury and did not return. He will be evaluated this week to determine the severity of the injury.
The Rock stretched their lead to 2 goals when Nick Diachenko, taking some reps on offence in place of the injured Hellyer, scored on a great solo effort. Edmonton answered four straight goals to take a 7-5 lead. In the final minute, with the Rock needing a spark, Kevin Ross took the ball to the net and scored from a very difficult angle. Brett Hickey scored with just 3 seconds left to tie the score 7-7 heading to the final quarter.
Toronto carried that momentum into the early portion of the fourth quarter, scoring twice to lead 9-7. However, that was the end of the Rock scoring and Edmonton scored four straight, including an empty-netter, to seal the win.
Toronto goal scorers were Hickey (3), Ross (2), Diachenko (1), Stephan Leblanc (1), Sanderson (1), Beirnes (1).
Brandon Miller suffered just his second loss of the season, as his record drops to 6-2 after a 37-save effort. Aaron Bold stopped 43 saves and was named the game’s first star.
Toronto’s next game will be one week from tonight when they face the Calgary Roughnecks on the road at 9pm ET. The Rock returns home on Friday, April 3rd for a pivotal East Division showdown with the Rochester Knighthawks on Alumni Night at Air Canada Centre. For the BEST ticket in town and more information, please visit torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.