The Toronto Rock advance to the National Lacrosse League post-season with a 15-7 win over the Rochester Knighthawks at the Air Canada Centre tonight.
The Rock (9-7) will be hosting a first round playoff game at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday, May 1. The post-season berth was clinched due to the Toronto win and a Buffalo loss to Orlando. This will be Toronto’s first playoff appearance since 2007.
Stephan Leblanc led Toronto scoring with four goals and two assists to be named game MVP. Bob Watson recorded the win in the Rock net stopping 39 of 46 shots on goal.
Craig Point scored three goals for Rochester, and Aaron Bold and Pat O’Toole combined for 34 saves.
Joel McCready and John Grant Jr. got the Knighthawks out to an early lead, until Blaine Manning put in a pair and Mike Hominuck and Kasey Beirnes added singles to end the first quarter with Toronto in the lead 4-2.
Defender Mike Hobbins scored twice on Aaron Bold. Rookie Stephan Leblanc was next bringing the Toronto tally to seven, with the goal Leblanc performed a task no other rookie has this year, he has scored a goal in every regular season game in 2010. Rochester decided to switch goaltenders in favour of Pat O’Toole. The fresh face gave them an automatic burst of energy as Craig Point netted their third goal. It didn’t last for long as Hominuck rocketed his second between O’Toole legs. Stephen Hoar was next scoring his first goal of the season, the team’s ninth of the night.
The second half started with a Colin Doyle goal. The rookies were next as defender Creighton Reid made it 11, with his second goal of the season and Leblanc scored his second of the night. After 17 minutes of scoreless play Rochester got back on the board as Point got past Bob Watson. Leblanc answered back securing the hat trick. O’Toole walked off to find Bold back between the pipes for the Knighthawks.
Grant Jr. scored his second followed by Steve Toll for Rochester to start the final quarter of play at the Air Canada Centre. Two hat tricks followed. Manning scored number 14 for Toronto, and Point number seven for the Knighthawks. Leblanc banked his forth of the night to solidify the 15-7 Rock win.
The Toronto Rock have a bye-week for the last week of the NLL regular season, but will host an East Divisional semi-final game on Saturday, May 1.Game time will be 7:30 p.m. ET at the Air Canada Centre. To purchase tickets, please visit the Ticket Master website.