Toronto – The Toronto Rock (5-6) answered the bell after a poor performance at home a week ago as they knocked off the Rochester Knighthawks (5-6) on Saturday night by a score of 13-7 at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY.
Rock goaltender Nick Rose was nearly perfect in the opening 15 minutes of his Toronto career allowing just 1 goal on 7 Rochester shots. At the other end, Matt Vinc was perfect in the Knighthawks goal stopping all 10 shots he faced as Rochester led 1-0 after one quarter.
After carrying a heavy shots on goal advantage in the first quarter, the Rock continued with much the same formula, but in the second quarter the shots started dropping.
First it was Brenden Thenhaus with a pair of goals and then Captain Colin Doyle followed that up with a power play strike to give the Rock a 3-1 lead. After drawing assists on each of Toronto’s first 3 goals, Billings buried on the power play and at even strength to give the Rock a 5-1 lead at the half.
The Rock defence continued it’s strong performance in the third quarter limiting the Knighthawks to just 7 shots on goal. Toronto built an 8-1 lead before Rochester finally broke up the 8-goal only to have the Rock answer right away to restore their 7-goal lead. Rose and the Rock defence held the Knighthawks scoreless for 29:56. Rochester scored one more before the end of the quarter to close the gap to 6, trailing 9-3.
Kasey Beirnes scored on the powerplay just 22 seconds into the fourth quarter to put the Rock up 10-3 and from there the two teams exchanged goals back and forth.
Rose made 28 saves on 35 shots to earn his first win in a Rock uniform in his first career NLL start.
Offensively, Billings continued his torrid scoring pace with 2 goals and 6 assists for 8 points. Doyle and Dan Carey each netted hat-tricks while the Rock went 4-8 on the powerplay.
Doyle’s fourth assist of the game was the 700th of his NLL career. Doyle also entered the game 1 assist shy of Blaine Manning’s all-time franchise mark of 504 career assists. His third quarter assist on Carey’s goal pushed Doyle ahead of Manning.
Carey hit a milestone of his own as his second goal of the game, which came early in the fourth quarter, was the 100th goal of his NLL career.
The Rock travel to Buffalo one week from tonight to face the Bandits at First Niagara Center at 7:30pm. The game will be televised live on TSN2 and will also be available on TSN Mobile TV.