January 23, 2016
ROCK LOSE 12-6 TO BANDITS
Toronto Falls To 0-4
Buffalo, NY – The Toronto Rock (0-4) continue to search for their first win of the season after losing 12-6 to the Buffalo Bandits (2-1) on Saturday night at First Niagara Centre in Buffalo, NY. All four of the Rock losses have been against East Division opponents.
The schedule makers had the Rock playing their first eight games of the season against East Division opponents, so a turnaround here in the next few weeks is quite possible and the Rock do control an element of their own destiny, although it’s diminishing with each loss.
“The guys are working hard but we’re not necessarily working smart all the time,” said Rock assistant coach Blaine Manning. “When it rains it pours, we’re just going through a tough stretch right now. I know the guys are going to keep grinding away and we’re going to work our way through it.”
The Rock came out pushing the pace in transition and were able to generate an early goal from Billy Hostrawser and added another from Stephan Leblanc to give the Rock a 2-0 lead less than five minutes in. The Bandits replied with a pair of their own and the game was tied 2-2. Both teams struck once more and the opening 15 minutes ended even at 3-3.
In his first game back, Kevin Ross scored 44 seconds into the second quarter on an outside shot to put the Rock ahead 4-3. From there it was all Bandits, a five-goal run gave Buffalo an 8-4 lead at the half. However, jammed in between those Buffalo goals were two Rock goals that were overturned after challenges from the Bandits. The first half might have looked very different had those momentum-swinging goals stayed on the scoreboard.
“Those two goals were definitely a momentum killer for us and they came back and got one right away,” said Ross after the game.
The Bandits run didn’t end there as they counted the first two goals of the second half to build a 10-4 lead. Ross scored his second of the game to get the Rock back on the board. The scoreless stretch for the Rock was 24:01 and the scoring stopped there for both teams with the Bandits carrying a 10-5 lead into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was a relatively quiet one with the Bandits outscoring the Rock 2-1 over the last 15 minutes of play.
Rock goal scorers were Ross and Leblanc with a pair, while Hostrawser and Hellyer each scored singles. Brandon Miller wen the full 60 for Toronto, making 33 saves. Anthony Cosmo got the win for Buffalo stopping 37 of 43 shots he faced.
Toronto will play another important East Division matchup with the Georgia Swarm next weekend back in Toronto on Friday, January 29th. The Swarm won the first of two meetings between the two clubs back on January 9th at Georgia by a score of 12-7.
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