Toronto Defeats Vancouver 9-6
Toronto, ON – The Toronto Rock (3-7) held off a late charge from the Vancouver Stealth (3-7) to win their third game of the season, 9-6 on Sunday afternoon at Air Canada Centre. The Rock are now 3-2 at home this season.
Winners of three of their last four games, the Rock have received stellar goaltending over this stretch with Nick Rose earning all three victories in the Toronto net.
“I think we did a good job, limiting them to outside shots,” remarked Rose following a 46-save effort that earned him the game’s first star. “They didn’t see much of the middle of the floor tonight and that’s a credit to our defence.”
Both teams struggled out of the gate offensively with neither team denting the twine in the opening ten minutes. Then, in a complete script flip from Friday night, it was the Rock that got out front first, leading 2-0. Nick Rose stopped all 15 shots sent his way in the first.
The Stealth responded quickly in the early going of the second quarter, scoring two goals in 1:33, to tie the game. It took Brett Hickey only 42 seconds to break up the mini Stealth run. After Vancouver scored again, Rob Hellyer scored a brilliant diving goal to give the Rock a 4-3 lead at the half.
Toronto buried a pair of goals early in the third quarter as Brock Sorensen scored his first of the season and Colin Doyle also tallied, bulging the Rock lead to 7-3. Vancouver got one late on the power play to draw back to within three goals, trailing 7-4 after three quarters.
Hellyer scored just 22 seconds into the final quarter, it would end up being the game winner. Garrett Billings scored a pair for the Stealth to keep the visitors within striking distance. Two more for the Rock, including an empty-netter from Brodie Merrill sealed the Rock win.
Rock goal scorers were Hickey and Hellyer with three each with singles from Doyle, Sorensen and Brodie Merrill. Nick Rose won his third game of the season and made 46 saves to earn the victory. Tyler Richards also had a great game for the Stealth, making 36 saves.
“That’s the beauty of having back to back games, you can forget about the loss pretty quickly,” said Hickey about the Rock’s ability to bounce back from Friday’s 15-10 loss to Calgary at home. “The guys in that room don’t quit and we’re still pushing for a playoff spot.”
The Rock will enjoy their final bye week this season as the get ready for a home and home, Champion’s Cup rematch, with the Saskatchewan Rush. The first half of the double-dip will be on Friday, March 25th at 7 p.m. at Air Canada Centre.
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