Back-and-forth Battle Ends In Favour Of Thunderbirds
Halifax, NS – The Toronto Rock (10-4) came up just short in their bid to clinch a postseason berth, losing 14-12 to the Halifax Thunderbirds (6-7) on Saturday night at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, NS.
“We had some chances at the end to tie it back up, but they scored some timely goals,” said Rock forward Corey Small. “Hats off to them, they played a great game, but we struggled to match their intensity at the end.”
With the game tied 1-1, Latrell Harris and Tom Schreiber scored to give the Rock a 3-1 lead. A possible turning point in the game came late in the first quarter when Tom Schreiber was flagged for a holding call on Halifax’s Ryan Terefenko who was on a breakaway towards the Rock goal. After he shot and was stopped by Nick Rose, Terefenko fell in the crease and his teammate Ryan Benesch scored with Terefenko still in the crease. Upon further review following the Rock challenge, the call on the floor of a good goal stood as the officials ruled the Halifax player in the crease got there by way of the Schreiber penalty. The Rock lead was just a goal, 3-2 after one.
The tide turned in the second quarter. Halifax scored four of the first five goals and built a 6-4 lead. The Rock battled back, with goals from Dan Craig and Sheldon Burns, to tie the game 6-6. The Thunderbirds once again scored the final goal of the quarter to lead 7-6 at halftime.
Stephen Keogh and Schreiber open the second half scoring, as the Rock surged into the lead, up 8-7. A three-goal run from the Thunderbirds gave them back the lead, 10-8. The Rock showed a lot of fight in this game, Craig scored his second and third goals of the game 85 seconds apart to tie the score 10-10, heading to the fourth quarter.
The Thunderbirds got out in front first, a two-goal run that gave them a 12-10 lead, forcing the Rock to chase the game down the stretch. Craig scored his fourth to make it a one-goal game and seemed to shift the momentum. However, Halifax answered just six seconds later to go up two once again. Zach Manns found himself open in the middle and took advantage of the time and space he earned to cash in on the opportunity and the Rock were poised to force OT.
A wild final two minutes saw the Rock with numerous offensive possessions, but they couldn’t beat Warren Hill in the Halifax cage and Terefenko buried an empty net goal for the Thunderbirds to finish off the scoring.
The Rock were without captain Challen Rogers for the second game in a row and superstar defender Mitch de Snoo missed his fifth straight game, both out due to injury. The Rock did have a new face in the lineup in the form of veteran defender Greg Downing.
“It felt great, all the guys have been awesome, welcoming me to the squad,” said Downing when asked about being a part of the Toronto Rock. “There’s a lot of athletes out there that are pushing the pace.”
Both the Rock and the Thunderbirds came up empty on the power play with Toronto going 0-for-3 and Halifax going 0-for-2. Shots on goal were even at 52 apiece.
Craig entered the game needing just a pair of goals to reach the 100-goal mark for his career. Scoring four times meant he ended the night at 102. Small finished with four points (2G + 2A) to reach 800-career points.
Coming up next for the Rock is another road game next weekend at Albany against the FireWolves on Saturday, March 25.
Tickets are on sale now for the Rock’s next home game at FirstOntario Centre on Saturday, April 1 against the Buffalo Bandits at 7pm ET. It’s Bill Hostrawser BobbleFist Night and Minor Lacrosse Night!
For more information on tickets, please visit torontorock.com, call the Rock Ticket Office at 416-596-3075 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.