12-8 Triumph Brings Season Record Back To .500
Hamilton, ON – Six goals from Tom Schreiber, 45 saves from Nick Rose and a 100 percent buy-in from the entire roster were the fuel that powered the Toronto Rock (3-3) to a much-needed 12-8 win over the Rochester Knighthawks (2-4) on Saturday night at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, ON.
“We were a determined group here tonight,” said Rose. “We’re happy with our defensive effort but we know that’s the standard.”
But wait, there’s more. The Rock built an early lead and never trailed in the game. Poor starts had plagued this team all season, but this team answered the bell in a big way, getting out in front 4-1 after the first quarter.
While the Rock were never able to run away and hide, they certainly weathered the storm. The Knighthawks chipped away at Rock leads throughout the game and tied the game 6-6 just over five minutes into the third quarter.
Schreiber completely took over the game moments later, scoring two goals just 17 seconds apart to put the Rock up 8-6. Dan Dawson’s second of the night put the Rock ahead 9-6 after three quarters.
The 40-year-old future hall of famer Dawson completed the hat trick six minutes into the final quarter, on the power play. If there had been any visiting fans in the building, they might have been heading to the exits at that point.
Dan Craig’s second goal of the game pushed the Rock to an 11-6 lead with just over six minutes to play. Rochester forward, and former Toronto Rock, Turner Evans scored twice, but it wasn’t enough as Schreiber completed the sock trick into an empty net and the Rock victory celebration was on.
The goaltending performance from Rose was key. For him and for the team. He wasn’t himself in his last outing and was pulled in the second quarter of the Rock’s loss to Halifax two weeks ago allowing six goals on 13 shots. He knew he needed to put in some extra work to prepare for this test against the Knighthawks.
“I have to give our goalie coach Brandon Miller some credit. He worked on some key things with me over the last two weeks and I think those little things we went through really made a difference tonight,” said Rose.
Schreiber’s six goals were headline material in this one, but Rob Hellyer also had a big night on the scoresheet with seven assists. Dan Dawson’s three goals were complimented by a pair of assists for a five-point game. Dan Craig also had five points, carrying the opposite stat line to Dawson, finishing with two goals and three helpers.
On the defensive side of the ball, Brad Kri picked up 11 loose balls and caused a game-high five turnovers giving the Knighthawks forwards fits all night long. Mitch de Snoo had 10 loose balls, which sent him past the 600 loose ball mark for his career. TD Ierlan also had himself a night in the faceoff circle winning 18 of 24 draws.
Toronto outshot Rochester 54-53. The Rock were 2-for-7 on the power play while Rochester was 3-for-5.
The Rock’s next game will be Saturday, February 5 on the road against the Philadelphia Wings. Fans can watch the game on TSN’s digital platforms via the TSN App and TSN.ca.
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