Philadelphia, PA – The Toronto Rock (8-3) defeated the Philadelphia Wings (5-5) by a score of 13-8 at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon to maintain their perch atop the NLL standings.
Toronto owned the first fifteen minutes of play, largely because their defence limited the quality of scoring chances that the Wings were able to generate and held them to just a goal. Rock defender Kyle Belton, celebrating his 26th birthday, opened the scoring for the Rock. Kasey Beirnes had a pair, while Josh Sanderson scored on the powerplay in the late stages of the first quarter as Toronto led 4-1.
The next fifteen minutes of play didn’t feature quite the same stingy defence of the opening frame. Both teams had a lot of success finding the mark as the Rock outscored the Wings 5-4 in the quarter to take a 9-5 lead into the half. Sanderson struck for three more goals in the quarter while Rock captain Colin Doyle kept piling up the assists to give him 6 at the break.
Kevin Crowley scored just over two minutes into the third quarter to close the gap to three goals. Neither team could find the net for the better part of the quarter, but Doyle connected to give the Rock their four-goal lead back at 10-6.
While the Rock built an 11-6 lead, they had to kill off a 5-minute major penalty assessed to defender Damon Edwards. The Rock scored the next two goals coming off the penalty kill including Belton completing the hat-trick. Philadelphia added a pair of late goals to make the final 13-8.
Doyle had a big night for the Rock scoring once and adding 6 assists, Sanderson finished with 4 goals and an assist.
The Rock now await the results of Saturday night’s games as a loss by Minnesota or Colorado means Toronto is the first team to clinch a playoff spot.
The Rock will be back at home on Sunday, March 24th against Edmonton at 3pm at Air Canada Centre when it will be Toronto Sun Autograph Day. For the best ticket in town, visit www.torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.