TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Rock (8-9) handed the Buffalo Bandits (8-8) their sixth straight loss on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre by a score of 13-9. The two teams will meet in the first round of the NLL playoffs, but home floor has yet to be decided.
If the Bandits were to lose their final two games, and the Rock were to win their final game in Minnesota next week, Toronto would host the first-round single elimination playoff game. A Rock loss or any Bandits win and the game will be played in Buffalo.
Toronto scored first and led 5-2 after the opening 15 minutes. Toronto’s Stephan Leblanc scored a pair on the powerplay to notch his 40th and 41st goals of the season, a new career high for the five-year Rock veteran.
Buffalo scored the first 3 goals of the quarter to tie the score 5-5 with one of those goals coming with the man advantage. Before the half, Kevin Ross scored to restore the lead for the Rock at 6-5.
The Rock scored first as Leblanc completed his hat-trick with another powerplay goal to give the Rock a 2-goal edge. The Rock had a pair of three-goal leads at 8-5 and 9-6, but the Bandits closed the gap to 9-7 after three quarters.
Toronto again scored first in the quarter but saw a 3-goal lead begin to evaporate as Buffalo got within a goal at 10-9. However, the Rock broke the game open by scoring the final three goals of the game in the last two minutes.
Rock forward Josh Sanderson was a late scratch as he was battling the flu and was unable to play.
Nick Rose made his first start in 3 games and was solid making 48 saves for the win.
Rock goal scorers were Leblanc (3), Kevin Ross (3), Damon Edwards (2), Kasey Beirnes (2), Rob Hellyer (1), Scott Johnston (1) and Sandy Chapman (1).
Toronto will wrap up their 2014 regular season schedule next Saturday night in Minnesota. 2015 season tickets are now on sale, for more information, please visit www.torontorock.com or phone 416-596-3075 to speak with a ticket representative get your hands on the BEST ticket in town.