Saskatchewan Pulls Away In Second Half
Oakville, ON – The Toronto Rock played from behind almost the entire night, losing 15-12 to the Saskatchewan Rush on Saturday night in NLL preseason action at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in front of a packed house.
“It was the first time in a while we got to compete as a group,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer of his team’s first game action since March 8, 2020. “It was nice to see the arena full and people enjoying the game of lacrosse tonight.”
Rock captain Challen Rogers stole the show and was the best player on the floor. The Coquitlam, BC native scored three goals, with each one prettier than the last.
“I think when we were swinging the ball it was bringing the defence out a little bit and creating some space inside,” explained Rogers. “When we’re doing that, we’re at our best. I think that’s what we saw tonight.”
The Rock and Rush were tied 4-4 after one and 8-8 at the half. The home side held the lead for just 31 seconds in the game when the Rock scored a pair of goals late in the first half to turn a 7-6 one-goal deficit into an 8-7 one-goal lead with 33 seconds left in the second quarter. The Rush tied the game with two seconds left in the opening half.
Saskatchewan scored the first three goals in the second half to take an 11-8 lead just 4:05 into the third quarter. The Rock got to within a pair of goals on a few occasions but could get no closer.
Toronto split the goaltending duties with Riley Hutchcraft (19 Saves, 8 GA) playing the first half and Troy Holowchuck (15 Saves, 7 GA) tending goal for the final 30 minutes. The Rock outshot the Rush 53-49.
“There were some good things and some bad and stuff for us to work on but as a staff we were happy with certain individuals that we are looking at for the couple of roster spots we have available. I think everyone showed pretty well tonight,” said Sawyer.
Those roster spots Sawyer speaks of will be decided over the next couple of weeks as teams need to submit their final rosters on November 28, which is five days prior to the start of the 21-22 NLL regular season.
Rock Goal Scorers: Challen Rogers (3), Tom Schreiber (2), Aaron Forster (2), Zach Manns (2), Adam Jay (1), Brandon Slade (1), Justin Scott (1).
The Rock will host the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday, November 20 to continue the preseason. Game time is 7pm ET at the TRAC.
The Toronto Rock Home Opener is scheduled for Saturday, December 4 at Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre. Tickets for the game are now on sale to the general public through ticketmaster.ca and torontorock.com.
For more information on Toronto Rock Season Memberships, please contact a Toronto Rock account executive at 416-596-3075 or visit torontorock.com.