Mailman delivers in Rock debut
Hamilton, ON – The Toronto Rock (1-0) started off their season with an 11-7 win over the Philadelphia Wings (1-1) on Saturday night at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, ON in front of 7,217 rabid lacrosse fans.
In the off-season, the Rock made a big splash acquiring three veteran offensive players via trade with the highest profile of them being Mark Matthews who came over from the Saskatchewan Rush. While the “Mailman” has already carved out a future spot in the NLL Hall of Fame, his Rock debut certainly didn’t disappoint scoring four goals and assisting on another.
“I had a couple a couple opportunities in the first quarter that were terrible on my part but maybe a little nervous,” said Matthews. “Once the first one went, it feels good to be able to score again.”
It took just over five minutes for either team to score, but it was the visiting Philadelphia squad that tallied the first two of the game. When the Rock did get on the board to tie the score, it was defenders Josh Jubenville and Brad Kri that did the damage to finish the quarter deadlocked 2-2.
The second quarter featured the bulk of the scoring on the night, with the two teams combining for nine goals. The Rock scored six of those, with three of them coming from the stick of Matthews. Late in the frame, Rock rookie Justin Martin scored his first career goal, finishing off a transition chance to make it 7-5. Dan Craig’s second of the game gave Toronto an 8-5 lead going into halftime.
There were more firsts to start off the second half with rookie Tyler Hendrycks taking the ball to the cage and scoring his first career NLL goal. Matthews scored his fourth before Philadelphia got one back as the Rock led 10-6 after three.
In the fourth quarter, Nick Rose, and the Rock defence continued their solid effort, shutting the door and allowing just one more goal after Phil Mazzuca got the only Rock red light of the stanza.
“Opening night is special. I mentioned that to the guys before the game. One year in the league, 15 years in the league, you always get excited for opening night,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “You can only look back, I guess, fondly on it when you get a win, so we found a way to do that tonight.”
Rose had another typical game, allowing just 7 goals against on 45 Wings’ shots to earn his first win of the season. Zach Higgins also had a strong night in the Philadelphia goal making 40 saves on 51 Rock shots.
The Rock will have a week off before heading to Fort Worth, Texas to play the Panther City Lacrosse Club for the first time ever. The next Rock home game will be on Saturday, December 30 at 4pm ET against the New York Riptide. It’s Steel City Rock Night featuring a halftime performance by Hamilton’s own Monster Truck!
For more information on Toronto Rock tickets, please contact a Toronto Rock account executive by phone at 416-596-3075, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit torontorock.com.