Toronto Also Clinches Tiebreaker Vs. New England
Uncasville, CT – The Toronto Rock (6-6) picked up a huge character building win over the New England Black Wolves (6-5) by a score of 14-9 on Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The Rock win, the second in three games against the Black Wolves this season, also clinched the tiebreaker over New England should the two teams finished tied in the standings at season’s end.
“It’s a nice feeling for the boys in the room,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “It’s been a while since we’ve been able to experience a win, and these guys deserve that feeling. Hopefully tonight, gets us back on track.”
Rock goaltender Nick Rose turned in a second consecutive all-world performance between the pipes; stopping 38 of 47 shots he faced earning the win.
“Rosey’s a real good goalie, it’s a tough position to play and he’s got good support there with Brandon Miller,” said Sawyer. “But it’s one of those positions that when (the team) is unsuccessful it’s real easy to point the finger at that one person, but we’re glad to have Rosey and he’s our backbone, no doubt about it.”
The first 2:22 of the opening quarter was much different than the tight-checking affair we saw in Toronto last Sunday. The two teams each scored a pair early and then went silent until New England’s Anthony Joaquim scored in transition late in the quarter to give the Black Wolves a 3-2 lead after one.
Former Rock Stephan Leblanc scored his second of the game, less than a minute into the second quarter, to stretch the Black Wolves’ lead to 4-2. From there, it was all Rock in the second frame. Adam Jones got things going with a much needed goal for the star forward as he had been held without a goal in the Rock’s previous two games. The Rock would score again to tie the game 4-4, but the Black Wolves broke up the Toronto mini-run to jump in front again, 5-4.
Toronto’s transition game swung the momentum in their favour as Damon Edwards ran the floor and scored from a tight angle on his wrong side to tie the game 5-5. Reid Reinholdt took the ball to the net and scored on a crease dive, followed 53 seconds later by a Phil Caputo tally to give the Rock a 7-5 lead heading to halftime.
Last week’s OT hero Kevin Crowley scored the first goal of the second half for New England to make it a one-goal game. The Rock’s Dan Lintner scored a pair of gritty goals and Hickey tallied one in between the Lintner strikes to give Toronto a 10-6 lead. New England answered with a pair of goals but Toronto carried a 10-8 lead into the fourth quarter.
New England’s third straight goal closed the gap to a single goal once again, but Reinholdt once again came up with a key fourth quarter goal to give the Rock another two-goal cushion. Jones scored on a penalty shot, Rob Hellyer delivered the dagger and Kieran McArdle’s third of the game came into an empty net to seal the win.
Rob Hellyer’s 8 points (1+7) and Adam Jones’ 7 points (2+5) led the point parade for the Rock. McArdle had 3 goals and 2 assists while Lintner, Reinholdt and Hickey each scored twice and singles came from Caputo and Edwards.
“There’s no question we’ve been fighting it a bit and on a bit of a skid,” said Rose. “To get the monkey off our back and get right back into the thick of things in the East is huge for this team. I couldn’t be more proud of how the guys went to battle for us tonight.”
The Rock will play another road game in Calgary next Saturday night, Mar. 24 before returning home on Friday, Mar. 30 to face the Colorado Mammoth. For more information on Toronto Rock tickets, please visit torontorock.com/tickets or call 416-596-3075.