Buffalo, NY – The Toronto Rock (6-6) won their second straight game by defeating the Buffalo Bandits (4-8) by a score of 15-9 on Saturday night at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY.
Toronto’s Garrett Billings figured in on each of the Rock’s 15 goals (4 goals, 11 assists) on the evening breaking Blaine Manning’s old record of 13 points in a single game by a member of the Rock. The league record for points in a game is held by Buffalo’s Mark Steenhuis who netted 17 points on 23 Bandits goals back in a 2009 game.
Buffalo’s Jeremy Thompson took a major penalty for high sticking giving the Rock an early five-minute power play. Toronto struck for 3 power play goals, but surrendered a shorthanded goal to lead 3-1 before the game was 8 minutes old. Each team scored once before the end of the quarter with the Rock leading 4-2. Rock forward Garrett Billings figured in on each of Toronto’s 4 goals, tallying once himself and adding 3 helpers.
Billings continued to fuel the Rock offence in the second quarter by once again playing a part in each of Toronto’s 3 goals in the frame. The Rock could never build a lead larger than 2 goals and the half finished with the Rock leading 7-5 and holding a decisive 37-19 edge in shots on goal.
Stephan Leblanc scored his second goal of the game a little more than 3 minutes into the second half to give the Rock their first 3-goal lead of the game. Mark Steenuis responded for the Bandits to again make it a 2-goal game with the Rock up 8-6. Brenden Thenhaus then connected for his second of the game to restore the Rock 3-goal advantage with Toronto leading 9-6 after three quarters. Billings streak continued with another pair of assists to run his totals to 9 points after 45 minutes.
The Bandits scored twice to come to within a goal trailing 9-8, but the Rock scored 6 straight goals to take a commanding 15-8 lead. Buffalo added a late goal to make the final 15-9.
Nick Rose made 35 saves in his second start with the Rock moving him to 2-0 with Toronto since being acquired from Calgary on March 19.
The Rock will play their final home game of the regular season one week from tonight when they host the Edmonton Rush. TSN2 will carry the game live at 6:00pm and fans can also watch the game on TSN Mobile TV.