TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Rock (4-4) defeated the Minnesota Swarm (1-7) by a score of 14-12 at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night. The win is the Rock’s second in six tries against East Division opponents, but the fourth win in five home games this year.
After falling behind 2-1, the Rock got a spark from Scott Johnston’s scrap with Minnesota’s Shayne Jackson. Toronto scored the next 3 goals to take a 4-2 lead at the end of one. That wasn’t the only scrap of the first quarter as Swarm captain Andrew Suitor and the Rock’s Billy Hostrawser also engaged in a battle of fisticuffs.
The Swarm cut the lead to 5-4, but Rock captain Colin Doyle scored a pair of goals in the late stages of the frame to send Toronto to the break with a 7-4 lead. His second goal was his 500th career goal and it came with just a second left in the first half.
The third quarter was all Toronto Rock. The home side scored 6 straight goals and led 13-4 after three quarters. Josh Sanderson with a pair and Stephan Leblanc with a single each completed hat-tricks.
After being held off the board for 23:46, Minnesota finally got on the board again early in the fourth quarter. They didn’t stop there and made things very interesting by outscoring the Rock 8-1 in the final quarter but it wasn’t enough.
Garrett Billings led the Rock point parade by piling up a 9-point night, all of which were assists. Leading goal scorers were Sanderson and Leblanc with three apiece.
Nick Rose was tremendous between the pipes for the Rock and made 46 saves on the night to earn his fourth win of the season.
Doyle’s 500th goal puts him in elite company as he’s just the fourth player in NLL history to achieve the milestone. John Tavares, Gary Gair and John Grant Jr are the others.
The Rock will hit the road for a pair of games in Alberta next weekend and then return home after a bye week for a St .Patty’s Day matchup with the Rochester Knighthawks on Saturday, March 15ht at 7pm at Air Canada Centre. For more information, please visit www.torontorock.com or phone 416-596-3075 to speak with a ticket representative get your hands on the BEST ticket in town.