Photo: Larry Palumbo
Oakville, ON – The Toronto Rock just need to win. Saturday night at 7pm, the Rock will host Game 2 of the East Division Final against the Rochester Knighthawks at Air Canada Centre. Toronto trails the 2-game series 1-0 after last Saturday’s 10-9 Knighthawk win at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY. Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on TSN3, TSN4 and TSN GO.
In order for the Rock to win the series and advance to the Best-of-3 Champion’s Cup Final against the West Division champion, Toronto will need to win Game 2 on Saturday night. That will force a 10-minute Tie Breaker game, to be played immediately following the conclusion of Game 2. There’s no lineup changes, penalties carry over and if a player was ejected from Game 2, he’s not eligible to play in the Tie Breaker game. It’s 10 full minutes of lacrosse for the East Division title and a spot in the Champion’s Cup Final.
The Rock got behind early in Game 1, trailing 5-1 before the second quarter was five minutes old. It’s a situation the Rock clearly don’t want to find themselves in again on Saturday night and as Rock Head Coach John Lovell said, his team doesn’t want to be chasing the game against the 3-time defending champion Knighthawks.
“I’m proud of the way our guys played,” said Lovell. “We knew it was going to be a difficult game, probably coming down to the wire. We got down 5-1 but to our credit we battled back and tied it 4 or 5 times, we just couldn’t get that go ahead goal. That’s why they’re the champions.”
Lovell’s mindset hasn’t changed going into Game 2 of the series with a clear roadmap in front of him, charting the path to the Champion’s Cup Final.
“We knew going into this (series) that to win this thing we had to win Game 2 and hopefully we can get it to a tie breaker,” explained Lovell.
Toronto Rock offensive catalyst Rob Hellyer is excited to get on the floor and take the first step in winning the East Division Final in front of an energetic crowd at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night.
“The first game is the most important, we have to get that one to even get to the tiebreaker,” said Hellyer who finished the regular season with 90 points in just 14 games. “It will be nice to play in front of our crowd, I think the fans will be into it and I think our team is going to feed off that.”
After playing such a close first game of the series on the road last week in Rochester, Hellyer’s focus is on the details for Game 2.
“Getting down 5-1 against (Rochester) is never easy,” said Hellyer. “I think loose balls were a key factor in that game and winning the little battles all over the floor will really help us in the long run.
While Toronto’s struggles in Rochester, not only in the regular season but also the playoffs, are well documented. The Rock have played the Knighthawks five times in the playoffs in Toronto and have a 4-1 edge in post-season matchups played between the two teams in Toronto.
Tickets are still available for Saturday night’s Game 2 of the East Division Final against the Rochester Knighthawks at Air Canada Centre. For the BEST ticket in town and more information, please visit torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.