Toronto – The Toronto Rock (7-6) have clinched a playoff spot for the third consecutive season under Rock Head Coach Troy Cordingley. The previous two playoff runs under Cordingley have resulted in a pair of appearances in the NLL title game culminating with the Rock winning the Champion’s Cup in 2011.
The NLL confirmed late Saturday night that following Philadelphia’s loss to Buffalo along with Toronto’s win over Edmonton 12-8 earlier in the night, the Rock had in fact clinched another post-season appearance. Toronto now sits atop the NLL’s East Division, one game above .500, with Philadelphia now dropping to second. The Wings record fell to 7-7 after losing to Minnesota and Buffalo on the weekend.
Last night’s win also provided a milestone for one returning Rock forward and also set up another one to likely occur in Toronto’s next game.
Blaine Manning had missed the previous 10 games recovering from a broken collarbone sustained in Toronto’s second game of the season against Buffalo back on January 14th. Manning entered the game just 2 points shy of becoming just the 9th player in league history to reach the 800 career point plateau. The 11-year NLL veteran potted a power play goal in the third quarter to reach the milestone.
Rock Captain Colin Doyle entered the game 10 points away from surpassing Gary Gait for second place on the NLL’s all-time scoring list. Doyle contributed 3 goals and 2 assists in Saturday’s win over the Rush moving him to just 5 points away from leapfrogging his way into second place all-time. Doyle will enter Saturday’s game in Colorado with 1161 career points. Buffalo’s John Tavares is the league’s all-time leader in total points.
Also returning to the lineup on Saturday night was Josh Sanderson who missed the previous two games due to injury. Dan Carey did not dress against Edmonton last night, due to an undisclosed injury.
The Rock will hit the road for three consecutive west coast road trips to wrap up the regular season. Next weekend, the Rock are in Denver to face the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday night at the Pepsi Center. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network at 9pm ET.