Toronto – Saturday night the Toronto Rock (2-2) will get a first hand look at the new look Philadelphia Wings (2-1) when the two teams hook up at Wells Fargo Center at 7pm ET. The game can be seen live on TSN and TSN Mobile TV.
In the off-season, the Wings acquired two of the premiere players in the league when they landed former league MVP Dan Dawson in the Boston Blazers dispersal draft and added Brodie Merrill through a trade with Edmonton. Dawson has 19 points through three games while Merrill has been his usual steady self on defence collecting 29 loose balls putting him near the top of the NLL leader board in that category.
Earlier in the week, Rock Assistant Coach and GM Terry Sanderson announced that Colin Doyle would not be in the lineup Saturday and Stephen Hoar was also doubtful this week. Both players are nursing lower body injuries. The Wings, however, are aware of the depth the Rock have on their roster despite the absence of some key pieces from the lineup.
“They’ve got three or four 100-100 guys on offence that need 100 percent of the attention, 100 percent of the time,” said Wings Head Coach and GM Johnny Mouradian. “Josh (Sanderson), (Garrett) Billings, (Stephan) Leblanc, (Dan) Carey; they’re really good. Our defence has to play really good to keep them in check. I think we’re ready.”
With Blaine Manning and Doyle out of the lineup, Josh Sanderson and Garrett Billings stepped up with big performances last weekend as the Rock defeated Rochester and Calgary to even their season record at 2-2. As a result of Sanderson’s 14-point weekend he was named the NLL’s Offensive Player of the Week. Billings scored 5 goals and added 8 assists for 13 points of his own in the pair of Rock wins.
“He’s one of our team leaders,” Terry Sanderson said of Billings. “He’s just a kid and he’s put the club on his shoulders. He’s got such a tremendous game sense and he’s starting to do some of the gritty little things that make your team successful. Right now we’d be in a lot of trouble if we didn’t have Garrett Billings.”
As the Rock try and keep this roll going, their Dads will accompany them on Saturday’s road trip to Philadelphia. After becoming a tradition in other sports, the Rock will bring along these special guests for the first time in franchise history.
This will be the first of three meetings this season between the two clubs. Last year, the Rock won two of the three games against Philadelphia with their only loss to the Wings coming late in the season on the road.
These two teams will meet again in a couple of weeks in Toronto on Saturday, February 18th at Air Canada Centre. For more information or tickets, please call 416-596-3075 to speak with a ticket representative or visit www.torontorock.com.