TORONTO – In their final home game of the 2009 season, the Toronto Rock dominated the San Jose Stealth 15-11 tonight at the Air Canada Centre. After trailing by two five minutes into the game, the Rock rallied back in front of 15,252 loyal fans.
San Jose’s Jeff Zywicki opened scoring early in the first quarter followed by another for the visiting team from forward Cam Sedgwick. Rock forward Lewis Ratcliff put one past Stealth goaltender Tyler Richards to put Toronto on the board.
Zywicki scored his second of the night followed by another San Jose goal from Colin Doyle with just under five minutes left in the quarter.
Toronto’s Rob Marshall scored for the Rock and forward Jason Clark scored his first of the night with a minute left on the clock bringing the Rock within one to close out the first quarter.
Doyle kicked off the second quarter with his second goal of the night, putting him a point closer to breaking the all-time National Lacrosse League record for most points scored in a season. John Tavares of Buffalo currently holds the record set in 2001 with 115 points. Zywicki then put another past Watson, his third of the night.
Craig Conn would bring the Rock tally to four sending Richards backwards into the net. Blaine Manning would strike next to continue the rally for Toronto and Josh Wasson would drain the sixth, tying the game up with 5:33 left in the first half. Ratcliff scored his second of the night, his thirty-second of the season, to give the Rock their first lead of the game followed by Wasson’s second of the quarter, a long and low bouncing shot. Seconds later Bill McGlone struck off the face-off, catching San Jose netminder, Richards, off guard. Toronto would hold onto the lead at 9-6 heading into the dressing room for the half ahead.
The second half started in a less dramatic fashion than the first ended. Strong goaltending by San Jose’s Matt Roik and Toronto’s Bob Watson, combined with repeatedly wide shots hauled scoring for the first seven minutes of the third quarter until Marshall netted his second of the game to bring Toronto’s tally to ten. Rhys Duch answered back almost immediately for the Stealth. Five scoreless minutes would pass again, in a quarter dominated by the defence, until Ratcliff sunk his third, followed by Luke Wiles to extend Toronto’s lead to five.
Wiles would strike again at the beginning of the fourth and Ratcliff fired his fourth goal past Richards, leaving the Stealth goaltender down and in the dust. San Jose began to rally back when Zywicki and Mike Grimes scored with just over five minutes remaining in the game followed by the backend of a Doyle hat trick. Conn banked one past Roik to leave Toronto securely in the lead and Cam Sedgwick scored with :50 seconds remaining on the clock, but it wouldn’t be enough for the Stealth. Toronto defeated San Jose, 15-11.
Lewis Ratcliff led the Rock with four goals. Bob Watson recorded the win in net, turning away 37 of 48 shots on net. Craig Conn, Rob Marshall, Josh Wasson & Luke Wiles each contributed two goals and Blaine Manning tallied 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists).
Top scorer for San Jose was Jeff Zywicki with four goals and two assists. Tyler Richards played the first half in net stopping 22 of 31 Toronto attempts, and Matt Roik stopped 16 of 22 shots in the second half.
The Toronto Rock finish the 2009 season with a 6-10 record.