February 14, 2016
ROCK LOSE HEARTBREAKER IN OT
New England Defeats Toronto 17-16 In Overtime
Uncasville, CT – After a late Shawn Evans goal tied the game 16-16, the New England Black Wolves (4-2) took just 49 seconds to score the game winning in overtime and defeat the Toronto Rock (0-6) at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut on Sunday afternoon.
“The hole is getting a little deeper for us and I don’t know how many games we need to win (to get into the playoffs) but we just need to win one right now,” said Rock head coach John Lovell. “We will start to worry about Buffalo tomorrow and start to get ready to play them on Friday. I think there’s a lot of pride in that room for one and one thing I never question is the work ethic and the heart of our guys and I never will.”
Josh Sanderson played his first game of the season and scored once and set up two others to finish with three points. The future hall of famer missed the Rock’s first five games after deciding to take some time to recover from some nagging injuries and contemplate whether he was healthy enough to continue playing in the NLL.
The Rock struggled out of the starting blocks and fell behind 4-1. After making it 4-2, the Rock appeared to score their third goal of the game, but Stephan Leblanc’s tally was called back after a New England challenge and the first quarter finished with the Rock down by a pair.
Two Toronto power play goals fueled the Rock’s offence in the second quarter, as the Rock outscored their hosts 5-4 to draw to within one, trailing 8-7 at the half.
Brett Hickey and Rob Hellyer scored for the Rock before the third quarter was five minutes old and Toronto had their first lead of the game at 9-8. The Black Wolves rattled off four straight goals, three coming from Evans, and took a 12-9 lead. Colin Doyle and Hickey responded for the Rock, once again making it a one-goal game with Toronto trailing 12-11 going into the final quarter.
A back and forth quarter culminated in a wild last minute of play. With the game tied at 15, the Rock’s Stephan Leblanc scored with just 19 seconds to go. The goal looked like it would stand up as the game winner, but the Black Wolves weren’t finished. Coming out of a timeout, Evans scored his sixth goal of the game with 7 seconds to play to tie the game for the Black Wolves and send the game to overtime.
The Rock had the first opportunity in overtime but were unable to cash in. The Black Wolves came back down the floor and looked to Kyle Buchanan for the game winner, 49 seconds into overtime.
Leblanc led all Rock goal scorers with four while Hickey and Hellyer each had hat-tricks. Doyle and Jesse Gamble each had a pair while singles came from Sanderson and Kasey Beirnes.
The Rock will head home and prepare to face the Buffalo Bandits on Rivalry Night presented by Tim Hortons this Friday at 8 p.m. at Air Canada Centre.
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