Toronto – The Toronto Rock (4-6) will face the Rochester Knighthawks (5-5) for the third and final time during the 2012 regular season on Saturday night at 7:30pm in Rochester, NY at the Blue Cross Arena. The Rock have won each of the two previous meetings.
After starting 2012 with a pair of losses and sitting at 0-2, The Rock won their first game of the season on January 27th by staging a late comeback and defeating the Knighthawks 13-11 at Air Canada Centre. In the second meeting this season, Toronto surged above the .500 mark for the only time in 2012 with their fourth win of the season downing Rochester 16-12 on the Rock’s home turf. The game also marked the highest single game goal total for the Rock on the season.
So once again, Rochester and Toronto face one another at a pivotal point in the season for the Rock. With three consecutive losses and a terrible defeat at the hands of rival Buffalo last Friday night at home, the Rock will be looking to erase the memory of that effort with a win in Rochester as they hit the road for the first time since early February.
“I think it will be nice even though we enjoy playing at home,” said Rock GM Terry Sanderson about being the visiting team on Saturday. “Hopefully the road trip will give us a bit of a boost and we can shake this losing streak.”
Over the years, the wins in Rochester have not come easy. Last year’s early regular season win at Blue Cross Arena was the first ever in Rock franchise history. The Rock won a second regular season game last year at Blue Cross Arena but have an overall regular season record of 2-15 in Rochester. The only other Toronto win in Rochester came in the post-season in the 2003 NLL Champion’s Cup final.
On the bright side of those numbers, Toronto has managed to win the last six consecutive matchups with the Knighthawks. Four of those triumphs have come at Air Canada Centre in Toronto dating back to the Rock’s final regular season home game of 2010. The wins this season against Rochester have provided the only two home victories for Toronto in 2012.
“I think the biggest thing is playing a full 60 minutes,” said Rochester head coach Mike Hasen when talking about what his team must do better against the Rock than in the previous meetings. “We’ve had quite a few mental lapses and Toronto’s very good at capitalizing. It’s just a matter of getting on the floor and executing and doing it for an entire 60 minutes.”
Newly acquired goaltender Nick Rose will make his debut in a Rock uniform this Saturday and the game can be seen live on the NLL Network at NLL.com.