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Rock Comeback Falls Short Losing To Rochester

April 6, 2019


Hutchcraft Perfect in Relief

Rochester, NY – The highs and lows of life in the NLL. Last night the Toronto Rock (10-6) gutted out a 12-11 OT win over the top team in the NLL, the Buffalo Bandits. One night later, a valiant comeback against a rebuilding Rochester Knighthawks (4-11) club falls just short in a 12-10 loss. The loss was the Rock’s fifth in a row on the road.

“Ultimately our first half performance did us in tonight,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “It’s disappointing considering the win we had last night. And then, you see the push we had in the second half, if we come out and play like that for 60 minutes, I’m sure the result would have been different.”

After a triumphant return from injury on Friday night, forward Adam Jones was scratched tonight as a precautionary measure. That meant Kieran McArdle was back in the lineup and he scored on his first shot on goal to give the Rock a lead less than a minute into the game. Rochester answered with a pair, but Rob Hellyer continued to wield a hot stick and tied the score 2-2 before the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter truly proved to be the difference in the game. The Knighthawks opened the frame with a pair of power play goals and took off from there, outscoring the Rock 5-1 in the frame. The home side built a 7-3 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the goals were coming fast and furious. Rochester built an 11-7 lead and chased Rock starter Nick Rose from the game, giving way for Riley Hutchcraft to get some game action. Hutchcraft slammed the door over the remaining 7:04 of the quarter and the Rock were able to creep a bit closer, trailing 11-8 through three quarters.

Johnny Powless scored a pair of goals to open the fourth quarter scoring for Toronto. Suddenly, the Rock were down by just one and appeared to have all the momentum, but still trailed 11-10. The Rock had several chances to tie the game, even in the final minute of the game, but Rochester’s Chris Boushy scored an empty net goal to seal the victory for the Knighthawks.

Hutchcraft was very impressive coming off the bench to guard the Rock goal in the second half. In total, the second-year pro stopped all 14 shots he faced in 22:03 worth of work. Perhaps the finest stretch of work of his young career.

Without Jones, the Rock spread the scoring around. Powless and Tom Schreiber each scored a pair. Singles came from Dan Lintner, Dan Craig, Bill Hostrawser, Latrell Harris, McArdle and Hellyer.

The Rock will be back at home, where they have won seven in a row, on Friday night when they take on the New England Black Wolves at Scotiabank Arena. Prior to the game, the Rock will retire the number 32 worn by NLL and Toronto Rock Hall of Famer Jim Veltman.

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