Oakville, ON – The Toronto Rock (6-1) battle the New England Black Wolves (2-3) on Friday night at 7:30pm at Air Canada Centre. This will be the first of three meetings this season between the two East Division foes. Fans can watch the game live at TSN.ca on Friday night.
The Rock are coming off a successful weekend that included back-to-back wins over the Minnesota Swarm. Last Friday night in Minnesota, the Rock dominated the Swarm on the strength of a 13-goal run and decisively downed Minnesota 16-4 in the first half of the home-and-home. A night later, the Rock also got the better of the Swarm in a closer contest, defeating Minnesota 14-9 at Air Canada Centre.
Friday night, the New England Black Wolves enter the game as losers of their last 3 games after opening the season with a pair of impressive wins.
New England’s balanced offensive attack is led by former first overall pick Kevin Crowley. The supporting cast of Pat Saunders, Kyle Buchanan and Kevin Buchanan have been efficient in complimenting each other and Crowley early on this season.
“I have a lot of respect for their offence,” said Rock Head Coach John Lovell. “They have a lot of firepower there, some guys with some decent size and highly skilled. I’ve watched a couple of their games and they had some early success and I know they need a win very badly. We know it’s going to be a tough game as most games are in this league. We’re prepared as best we can and look forward to the game on Friday.”
Toronto’s offence continues to click at a torrid pace. Josh Sanderson sits in a 3-way tie at the top of the league scoring race with 45 and leads the entire NLL with 39 assists; 10 better than Rochester’s Dan Dawson. Brett Hickey’s team-leading 18 goals have him in a tie for 3rd among the league’s best shooters.
“I think we’ve got a pretty deep offence and six guys who can pitch in from anywhere,” said Rock forward Kevin Ross. “We’re putting together a pretty good thing and we’re hoping to keep it rolling.”
The Rock received some bad news on the injury front on Tuesday evening at the team’s practice. Scott Johnston, who had been handling the bulk of the team’s faceoff duties prior to his recent knee injury, will be shut down for the remainder of the season. Upon further examination, Rock medical staff confirmed Johnston has a torn ACL and will require season ending surgery.
Friday is also the Rock’s annual charity night with proceeds benefitting the Heart and Stroke Foundation. MLSE is donating $1 for every ticket sold to the charity. The night will also have a superhero theme with the Rock wearing a special superhero jersey. Fans can register to participate in the live charity jersey auction, which will take place on the turf following Friday’s game, by visiting torontorock.com/auction.
The Rock will have a special guest joining them at shoot around on Friday morning at Air Canada Centre. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida will take in the regular game day walk through. He will also pick up a stick towards the end of shoot around a take a few shots on goal with the guidance of Toronto Rock players and coaching staff.
For the BEST ticket in town and more information, please visit torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.