Halifax’s Warren Hill makes 45 saves to stall Rock offence
Halifax, NS – The Toronto Rock (1-1) offence sputtered in the first half and ran out of time in their comeback attempt, falling 11-7 to the Halifax Thunderbirds (2-0) on Friday night in Halifax, NS.
Despite having a lot of shots early in the game, the Rock just couldn’t solve Thunderbirds’ netminder Warren Hill who was simply magnificent in goal from whistle to whistle. Hill held the Rock to a single goal in the first half and the Rock didn’t tally their second goal of the game until midway through the third quarter, 38:58 into the contest.
“They certainly were the better team tonight from start to finish, we got what we deserved with the commitment we put forth in the first half,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “The goal is to get a team win and we just didn’t have enough guys on board tonight to pull that out.”
Halifax built a 2-0 lead before the Rock scored and a 6-1 lead at the half. Clarke Petterson had five of those six goals and did that on just seven shots on goal. The Rock’s lone goal came from Dan Craig who fired a rocket, short side high, past Hill.
The Rock left the locker room early and were back on the turf ready to play with well over a minute to go in the halftime break, showing they were anxious to get back at it.
After giving up a shorthanded goal, the Rock got that one back on a low shot from Tom Schreiber. The 5-goal deficit that faced the Rock at the start of the half was just the same halfway through the quarter, down 7-2. With less than a minute to go in the frame, Halifax extended their lead to 8-2. Schreiber’s second just seconds later drew the Rock to within five once again, 8-3.
Petterson scored his sixth of the game to make it 9-3, however the Rock were far from done. Four straight goals, including two more from Schreiber had the Thunderbirds gripping their sticks a bit tighter with their lead shrinking to 9-7 with 3:44 to play. However, the Thunderbirds chipped in two insurance markers to seal the 11-7 win and remain undefeated.
Schreiber entered the game with 99 career goals and his four-goal performance saw him pass the 100-career goal mark and finish the night at 103 career goals.
“We had a tough first half and we never really got into a groove, it’s disappointing and we have to be at our best every night,” said Schreiber. “We didn’t do enough to win a game tonight. All we can do is learn from it. It’s early in the season and the good news is we have another game next week.”
After going 5-for-6 on the power play in their first game, the Rock power play unit was just 1-for-5. Their penalty kill was very good, allowing the Thunderbirds just one goal on six chances.
Nick Rose turned in another steady performance in the Rock goal, giving his team a chance to make the late game run.
The Rock will be back at home next Saturday night when they host the Philadelphia Wings at Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre at 7pm. It will be the Rock’s first ever Teddy Bear Toss, presented by Cogeco and benefiting the United Way. Tickets for the game are available at ticketmaster.ca and torontorock.com.
For more information on Toronto Rock Season Memberships, please contact a Toronto Rock account executive at 416-596-3075 or visit torontorock.com.