December 28, 2018
LAST MINUTE GOAL SINKS ROCK
Georgia Edges Toronto 12-11
Toronto, ON – The Georgia Swarm (2-0) played spoiler, defeating the Toronto Rock (1-1) by a score of 12-11 in the Rock’s home opener on Friday night at Scotiabank Arena in front of 10,123 fans. Georgia’s Lyle Thompson scored the game-winning goal with just 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Georgia swept the season series with Toronto last year and these combatants are no strangers to one-goal games as two of the three meetings last year between the two clubs came down to a single goal.
“It was another heck of a lacrosse game with Georgia and we’ve had a few of them,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “They hit one more shot (than us), that’s what it came down. We certainly had our opportunities and we were good in a lot of areas, just need to find a way to come out on the right end of one against them.”
The home side rode the emotional wave of the crowd to start the game as Toronto scored the first two goals early to lead 2-0. Georgia responded with three of their own and began to gain momentum, recovering several offensive loose balls off of their own scoring chances, keeping the Rock defence on the floor for long stretches.
Georgia stretched their run to five goals before Toronto broke that up with a three-goal run that tied the game at five. It didn’t take Georgia long to get the lead back and carry a 7-5 advantage into halftime.
The Rock probably played their best quarter of lacrosse in the third. Tom Schreiber’s second goal of the game came on the powerplay and Toronto followed that goal with a shorthanded tally late in the quarter by Kieran McArdle. Once again, Georgia scored late to maintain and end of quarter lead, this time it was just a goal, 8-7.
The final fifteen minutes were a roller coaster. Johnny Powless scored first to tie the game, but the Swarm answered with a pair. The Rock scored three in a row to take their first lead since way back in the first quarter, highlighted by Rob Hellyer’s fifth goal of the game. Georgia’s Lyle Thompson tied the game and then had a chance to put the Swarm up on a penalty shot with 59 seconds to play, but Rock goaltender Nick Rose made a massive save that kept the game tied 11-11. It was Georgia’s late heroics that lifted them to victory in the end as Lyle Thompson scored with just 24 seconds left to seal the win.
Rose made 43 saves on 55 shots and as usual gave his team a chance to win with another solid performance.
Hellyer was in on almost every one of the Rock’s eleven goals, adding five assists to his five goals for a ten-point game. McArdle and Schreiber each chipped in a pair of goals, while Powless and Creighton Reid each had a goal. For the Swarm, Lyle Thompson’s four goals and one assist paced the visitors and he earned the game’s first star for his efforts.
Toronto will be home again, one week from tonight, when they host the expansion Philadelphia Wings at 7:30pm ET at Scotiabank Arena.
2018-19 Toronto Rock Single Game, Season Tickets and Season Passes along with the new 4 Game Pack and 6 Ticket Flex Pack are on sale now. To purchase or for more information, please visit torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.