TORONTO – The Toronto Rock host the Rochester Knighthawks on Saturday, March 21st. Toronto’s only home game this month is set to start at 7:00 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre.
Last weekend saw the Rock (3-7) triumph in an overtime thriller, upsetting the East Division second place Boston Blazers on Saturday. Toronto broke both the Blazers’ five game win streak, and their own four game losing streak. Rock defenseman Scott Campbell scored the game winning goal off a pass from Peter Lough 37 seconds into sudden death overtime.
“It was a big win,” said Toronto Rock head coach, Jamie Batley. “We were never behind, our guys controlled the offence and defence of the game, and Bob Watson played great in goal. We’re very happy with the outcome; it’s great for the franchise.
“We don’t believe playoffs are out of reach yet, and this was one step in the right direction.”
Luke Wiles earned the Most Valuable Player nod for this five point game, scoring three goals and assisting on two others; his second three-goal performance in as many games. Wiles has passed Jason Crosbie as the ’09 Toronto Rock points leader with 40 (20 goals, 20 assists). Crosbie held the title for eight consecutive weeks, mainly due to his ability to pass the ball to the right teammates to record assists. He still leads Toronto in assists with 28.
As the National Lacrosse League (NLL) trade deadline passed on Tuesday, March 17 at 3:00 p.m. EST the Toronto Rock acquired veteran goaltender Steve Dietrich in a deal with the Edmonton Rush in exchange for a 2009 NLL Entry Draft second round selection.
“We knew it would be a good opportunity when we found out Steve was available, he’s a great goalie in this league,” said Batley. “It will be nice to have his character and quality on this team.”
Dietrich, a Kitchener, Ontario native, holds the distinction of being the only goaltender to earn the NLL’s Most Valuable Player award (2006) and was named NLL Goaltender of the Year in back-to-back years for 2005 and 2006.
The Rochester Knighthawks (4-5) are also coming into this matchup off a huge win. A second-half comeback put the Knighthawks over the first place Buffalo Bandits with a 15-14 overtime win. Craig Point and Shawn Evans lead Rochester with four goals apiece in the decision.
Rochester has yet to win on the road, dropping to 0-3 at the hands of Buffalo, San Jose, and New York. This will be the Rock’s third matchup with Rochester this season. After two losses in Rochester, Toronto looks for retribution in their home arena.
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