The Toronto Rock hit the turf twice this weekend, hosting the Philadelphia Wings at the Air Canada Centre on Friday, February 5 and travel to Buffalo on Saturday, February 6 to battle the Bandits at HSBC Arena. Both games are at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“You enter each game against a divisional opponent knowing how important it is going to be,” said Toronto Rock general manager and assistant coach Terry Sanderson. “Back-to-back games within your own division will play a huge role in determining playoff positions.”
The Rock (3-1) were dealt their first loss of the 2010 season last Saturday by the Rochester Knighthawks. Toronto has only won once at Blue Cross Arena, but never in the regular season.
With games against the bottom two east division teams, the Rock have the chance to advance to 5-1 at the end of the weekend. Both Philadelphia and Buffalo are struggling to get off to a winning start due to injury.
The Philadelphia Wings (1-3) began the 2010 season without forwards Athan Iannucci and Merrick Thomson, the Wings’ 2009 leading goal scorer, and earlier this week Philadelphia announced that defender Shawn Nadelen, who played in two games this season, has moved to their injured reserve list.
The Buffalo Bandits (1-4) collected their first win of the season last weekend over the Minnesota Swarm. The Bandits are missing veteran scorer John Tavares from the line-up due to a calf injury.
“I think players are just starting to get used to not having JT in the line-up,” said Buffalo head coach Darris Kilgour.
With a win under their belt, Buffalo only has one game on the schedule this weekend, and Sanderson knows they will be preparing for Toronto’s high tempo style of play.
“There is quite the rivalry with Buffalo and Toronto,” said Sanderson. “We are well versed in Kilgour’s teams and know what kind of beehive we’ll be going into, and when Saturday rolls around Darris will be ready for what the Rock bring.”
Both Friday’s 7:30 p.m. game versus Philadelphia at the Air Canada Centre and Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. game at HSBC in Buffalo can be watched live online at www.nll.com. Single game tickets for Toronto’s Friday night matchup are available through Ticket Master at www.ticketmaster.ca, or at the Air Canada Centre box office.