LANGLEY, BC – The Toronto Rock (6-9) scored early and often en route to a 17-9 win over the Vancouver Stealth (4-10) on Saturday night in Langley, British Columbia.
Garrett Billings was playing in his hometown for the first time in his pro career and didn’t disappoint the locals by reaching the 100-point plateau for the 3rd consecutive season with 5 assists in the first quarter. He is the first player in NLL history to achieve the feat.
The Rock were hot out of the gate scoring a pair to take an early lead, but Vancouver responded with a pair of goals by former Rock forward Lewis Ratcliff. From there it was all Toronto, four straight goals to finish the quarter and took a 6-2 lead after one quarter. Goaltender Tyler Richards was replaced by Matt Roik in the Vancouver net after allowing 6 goals on 10 shots.
Toronto scored the first three goals of the quarter to make it 7 straight goals and lead 9-2. Both teams scored two more times each before the half was done as the Rock took an 11-4 lead to the break.
The second quarter wasn’t without its casualties, as Rock forward Garrett Billings went down with a knee injury and did not return. He will be re-evaluated when the team returns home from the road trip.
The Rock opened scoring in the second half, but Vancouver stayed with with Toronto through the quarter. Kasey Beirnes completed his hat-trick and Stephan Leblanc and Colin Doyle each scored their fourth goals of the game.
Rob Hellyer led all Rock scorers with 3 goals and 8 assists for 11 points. Not far behind was Leblanc who had 10 points (5 goals and 5 assists). Doyle also had 5 goals and added an assist.
Brandon Miller earned his first win as a member of the Rock making 36 saves in the Toronto goal.
The Toronto win means that the Rock can clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Wings.
The Rock will return home for a pivotal game against the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday, April 12th at 7pm at Air Canada Centre. For more information, please visit www.torontorock.com or phone 416-596-3075 to speak with a ticket representative get your hands on the BEST ticket in town.