Toronto – The number one overall seeded Toronto Rock (10-6) will open the 2013 NLL Playoffs on Sunday afternoon at 3pm ET against the Minnesota Swarm (7-9). The game will be broadcast live on TSN2 and will also be available on TSN Mobile TV.
The Rock finished the season with the best record in the entire National Lacrosse League, while the Swarm finished 5th in the NLL’s West Division and crossed over to become the 4th seed in the East Division wrapping up the regular season with one more win than the Buffalo Bandits.
In two head-to-head meetings this season between Toronto and Minnesota, there wasn’t much to separate the two teams. They split two meetings by identical 13-12 scores and each team won on home floor.
“They’re a great lacrosse team,” said Rock captain Colin Doyle. “They’ve got big, strong, young, talented athletes that are going to be playing hungry. They may not have a lot of playoff experience, but they will make that up in pure adrenaline and pure excitement for being in the playoffs and having a chance to come to Toronto to knock us off. I suspect this will be another one of those one-goal games.”
Rock forward Garrett Billings led all scorers in the two regular season meetings between Toronto and Minnesota. His 13 points (2 goals, 11 assists) was just one more than teammate Stephan Leblanc’s 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) in the pair of matchups.
On the other side of things, Swarm forward Ryan Benesch (2 goals, 7 assists) led all Minnesota shooters with 9 points in the two previous encounters this season. Rookie Kiel Matisz led Minnesota goal scorers with 5 tallies.
One area where the Swarm dominated the Rock was in the faceoff circle as Minnesota won 70% of their draws against Toronto this year and Swam faceoff specialist Jordan MacIntosh won 71% of the faceoffs he handled.
“There’s a respect level there with Minnesota,” said Rock GM and assistant coach Terry Sanderson. “We have to worry about what the Toronto Rock does, and if we do what we do well then I think we’re going to be successful.”
3-game playoff packs and single game tickets are still available for the Rock’s opening round playoff game against Minnesota this Sunday at 3pm at Air Canada Centre. For the best ticket in town, visit www.torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.