EDMONTON – Jetlagged and recovering from the wear-and-tear of the thrilling 11-10 overtime victory over Rochester the night before, the defending NLL champs still managed to pull everything together for a 13-11 victory over the winless Edmonton Rush Feb. 11 at Rexall Place.
Aaron Wilson led the Toronto Rock with 4 goals, while Josh Sanderson had 7 assists and a single goal for Toronto (4-4). The Rock’s power play continued to click, scoring four times on 7 opportunities.
Head coach and general manager Terry Sanderson said he was exhausted after the game but happy for the victory.
“It was a gutsy effort tonight. In basically a week we played three games, flew out West twice and played the final games back to back. Tonight’s win was even tougher than last night (against Rochester).”
“Our power play was good and our defence was solid,” he added, noting Aaron Wilson, J.J. Dickie and Patrick Merrill were particularly impressive.
The Rush opened the scoring early, with St. Catharines native Rory Glaves beating Rock keeper Bob Watson on a nice 2-on-1 with Cam Bergman sneaking past Toronto to begin the transition.
But Blaine Manning tied it up just a couple of minutes later, burying a beautiful over-the-shoulder feed from Colin Doyle with the shot clock winding down. It was a sign of things to come, as the teams would trade leads often during the game with the Rock coming from behind all night.
Wilson gave the Rock a 2-1 lead but the Rush would tie the game on the powerplay late in the quarter to notch it at 2-2.
Toronto tied the see-saw affair again in the second quarter, and the teams entered the dressing rooms tied at 5-5 .
Wilson exploded in the second half, and Matt Shearer scored his second consecutive game winner to lift Toronto to victory.
“It feels great coming of a huge overtime win. We knew tonight was a must win in Edmonton… and to reach the .500 mark feels good,” said Wilson, named the Future Shop/Toshiba player of the game. “Our vet guys know how to win.”
Wilson said the Rush were no pushover.
“They’re a young team, they’re fast. I give them full credit.”
Toronto would claw back several times in the second half.
Teddy Jenner scored two huge goals, back-to-back, for the Rush (his first goals of the season), but a pair of Wilson goals and a beautiful breakaway goal by Brian Beisel kept the Rock within striking range.
Rock goalie Bob Watson was knocked down by a shot midway through third quarter but he manged to come back and make some timely saves including one on former Rock forward Jimmy Quinlan and another on former Rock forward Mat Giles, acquired by Edmonton in a trade earlier this week, in the final minutes.
Phil Sanderson potted an empty netter for his second goal of the game in the dying seconds.
The Rock has the next week off before hosting the Philadelphia Wings on Feb. 24 at the Air Canada Centre at 7:30 p.m.
ROCK 13, RUSH 11
(At Rexall Place, Edmonton)
1. Edmonton Glaves (Bergman) 2:16
2. Toronto Manning (J. Sanderson, Doyle) 5:11 ea
3. Toronto Wilson (J. Sanderson, Beisel) 9:08
4. Edmonton Bowen (Quinlan, Darion) 13:57 pp
Penalties – Toronto Beisel (holding) 6:17; Edmonton Turner (crosscheck) 10:37; Toronto Merrill (holding) 13:32.
5. Edmonton Hillier (Turner) 7:02
6. Edmonton Howard (Susheski, Bergman) 7:38
7. Toronto J. Sanderson (Doyle, Veltman) 9:26 pp
8. Toronto Doyle (J. Sanderson) 10:10 pp
9. Toronto Doyle 2 (Shearer, J. Sanderson) 11:14 pp
10. Edmonton Quinlan (Hillier, Sherbanuk) 11:57
Penalties – Edmonton Howard (goaltender interference) 7:38; Edmonton Turner (delay of game) 8:37; Edmonton Turner (slashing) 10:58; Edmonton McElroy (roughing) 12:50; Toronto Merrill (holding) 13:33.
11. Edmonton Daly (Howard, Giles) 3:14 pp
12. Toronto Taylor (J. Sanderson, Rubel) 4:55
13. Edmonton Hillier (Bergman) 6:27
14. Edmonton Bergman (Gut) 8:34
15. Toronto Wilson 2 (Doyle, Shearer) 14:08 pp
Penalties – Toronto Marshall (holding) 1:32; Edmonton Sundher (checking from behind) 11:52.
16. Toronto P. Sanderson (Merrill) 0:19
17. Edmonton Jenner (Bowen, Sherbanuk) 4:39 ea
18. Toronto Wilson 3 (Doyle, Taylor ) 5:07
19. Edmonton Jenner 2 (unassisted) 5:39
20. Toronto Beisel (unassisted) 6:35
21. Edmonton Bowen 2 (Quinlan, McElroy) 8:54 sh
22. Toronto Wilson 4 (J. Sanderson, Taylor) 10:16
23. Toronto Shearer (Doyle, Manning) 10:46
24. Toronto P. Sanderson (J. Sanderson, Veltman) 14:37 en
Penalties – Toronto Dickie (roughing) 2:31; Toronto Rubel (roughing) 2:31; Edmonton Susheski (roughing) 2:31; Edmonton Giles (roughing) 2:31; Edmonton Hillier (holding) 7:14; Toronto Veltman (checking from behind) 11:16.
Scoring 1 2 3 4 T
Toronto 2 3 2 6 13
Edmonton 2 3 3 3 11
Shots on Goal: 1 2 3 4 T
Toronto 9 16 13 23 58
Edmonton 12 8 10 7 37
Goalies: Toronto – Watson (W 4-4) 26 saves, 37 shots; Edmonton – Campbell (L, 0-6) 45 saves on 58 shots.
Powerplays: Toronto – 4/7; Edmonton -2/5.
Referees – Roy Condon; Brent Ranieri; Technical Referee: Bruce Crawford.
Attendance – 11,019.