Edmonton – The Toronto Rock (10-6) came up short against the Edmonton Rush (5-11) losing 18-14 on Saturday night at Rexall Place in Edmonton.
The Rush busted out of the gate scoring four times in the opening 4:54 of the game before Sandy Chapman got the Rock under the board just under six minutes in.
Before the game was ten minutes old, Edmonton had built a 7-2 lead and led 8-2 after one quarter. Rush forward Scott Evans scored three times in the opening 15 minutes.
In the first quarter, it wasn’t all bad for the Rock as goaltender Bob Watson made a save late in the quarter to break the NLL all-time saves record surpassing Pat O’Toole.
The Rock scored the first to goals of the second frame to shave the lead to 8-4 on the strength of powerplay goals from Blaine Manning and Aaron Pascas.
Closing the gap was no easy task for the Rock as Edmonton continued to answer every Toronto goal and carried a 12-7 lead into the half.
Edmonton’s Corey Small scored his second goal of the game to make it 13-7, but the Rock scored the final two goals of the quarter to make it 13-9 after three quarters.
The Rock continued to chip away in the fourth quarter, but the Rush earned their breaks and equaled the Rock 5-5 in the fourth quarter making the final 18-14.
Edmonton set franchise marks for most goals in a quarter with eight in the first, most goals in a half with 12 after the first half, and most goals in a game with 18.
Garrett Billings (3G, 3A) and Colin Doyle (2G, 4A) each scored 6 points for Toronto. Edmonton’s Corey Small led all scorers on the night with 7 points (3G, 4A).
Bob Watson and Pat Campbell split the goaltending duties in the Rock cage. Watson allowed 10 goals on 24 shots in 24:49 worth of work, Campbell made 22 saves on 29 shots in 35:04 of playing time.
Boston beating Buffalo could have helped the Rock still have a shot at first place, but the Rock loss on Saturday night, means the Rock will face the Rochester Knighthawks in the first round of the NLL Playoffs. Toronto won all three matchups this season with Rochester. The game is set for Sunday, May 1 at 3:30pm at Air Canada Centre. The matchup between the two long-time rivals will be broadcast live on TSN2.