Early Deficit Too Much To Overcome In 11-7 Loss
Rochester, NY – The Toronto Rock (1-1) couldn’t recover from a slow start and lost 11-7 to the Rochester Knighthawks (2-0) on Saturday night at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY.
“In the first half, they beat us in all areas of the game, and we dug ourselves a deep hole,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “We were a little bit better in the second half, but we deserved the result we got tonight.”
After a hot start that propelled the Rock to a win last week, Toronto were served a dose of their own medicine, falling behind 5-1 just over 10 minutes into the first quarter. The Rock scored a pair before the end of the first to close the gap to two goals, down 5-3 through the opening frame.
The Knighthawks ran their lead to five with the first two goals of the second quarter. Down 8-3, the Rock scored two of the next three goals to trail 9-5 at the half.
In the second half, Connor Fields scored early to give the Knighthawks a 10-5 lead. The Rock’s Stephen Keogh scored his second and third goals of the game, just 26 seconds apart, to make it a three-goal game with Rochester up 10-7.
Toronto had their chances over the final quarter and a half, but it was either Knighthawks’ goaltender Rylan Hartley making highlight reel saves, or the Rock hitting the post or cross bar that resulted in the Rock coming up empty the rest of the night. Nick Rose settled in, holding the Knighthawks off the board for almost 27 minutes. It was actually an empty netter with 37 seconds left that was Rochester’s next and last score on the evening.
Often you will hear a coach say it’s just time to forget about a loss and move on, but this isn’t the case in Sawyer’s mind.
“I think you need to let this one sting a little bit,” explained Sawyer. “We expect to win every night, but we weren’t good enough. You need to look at that individually and as a coaching staff. I’m confident that we’ll be better with this week of preparation and rolling into next Saturday.”
Rock goal scorers were Keogh with a hat trick and Challen Rogers, Zach Manns, Corey Small and Tom Schreiber with singles.
The Rock outshot the Knighthawks 56-42 on the evening, with Rose making 32 saves in the loss. Hartley stopped 50 shots and was the difference in the game, earning the first star.
Tickets for the Rock’s next home game at FirstOntario Centre on Saturday, December 17 against Buffalo are on sale now! The Rock will wear their alternate black and gold Steel City jerseys. It’s also the Holiday Bash featuring the Teddy Bear Toss presented by Cogeco benefitting the United Way and McMaster Children’s Hospital.
For more information on tickets, please visit torontorock.com, call the Rock Ticket Office at 416-596-3075 or email us at email@example.com.