Toronto – Saturday night the Toronto Rock face the Rochester Knighthawks in the NLL East Division Final at Air Canada Centre. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network at 7pm ET.
The two teams have met seven times in the playoffs with the Rock taking five of those matchups including all four played in Toronto. Their last playoff meeting was a year ago in the East Division Semi-Final. The Rock ended the Knighthawks 2011 season with a 10-8 win at Air Canada Centre. The Rock had tremendous success against Rochester in 2012 winning all three regular season meetings, two of those wins coming in Toronto.
“We’ve been fortunate to beat the Knighthawks this year,” said Rock Head Coach Troy Corindgley. “However, they handled Philadelphia, which was a team that handled us. The East division is such a battle every game. In this league we all know anyone can beat anyone, the parity is unbelievable. The past is the past and it means squat.”
Rochester and Toronto definitely have a storied playoff history but their most memorable playoff meeting was the 2000 NLL Championship Game. Toronto won their second consecutive championship, but it was the way in which they won as well as the historical significance of the event itself that will forever be etched in the annals of Toronto’s sports history.
Kaleb Toth’s last second goal to win the game gave Toronto the title and it would also prove to be the last sporting event ever played at fabled Maple Leaf Gardens.
“We know we’re in for a very big test coming into a rink that’s not very friendly,” expressed Rochester Head Coach Mike Hasen who played for the Knighthawks in that classic 2000 NLL final. “We’re going to have our hands full for sure and we’re just going to have to be at our best.”
Toronto goaltender Nick Rose turned in a tremendous performance in the Rock’s playoff opener last weekend. The 24-year old Orangeville, Ontario native made 36 saves as Toronto edged Buffalo 7-6. Rose is now 6-1 since being acquired on March 19th from the Calgary Roughnecks.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Rock’s Kasey Beirnes provided the clutch type of playoff scoring his teammates have become accustomed to seeing from the veteran forward. Beirnes has twice scorched the Knighthawks for 5 goals in a regular season game, once in each of the last two seasons.
Toronto will be looking to advance to their third consecutive NLL Championship game with a win on Saturday night, all under the guidance of Cordingley.
For tickets to Saturday’s East Division Final playoff game against the Rochester Knighthawks at Air Canada Centre, please visit www.torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075 and speak with a Toronto Rock ticket representative.