Toronto, ON – Thursday evening, the NLL leading Toronto Rock (6-2) will go head to head with their bitter rivals, the Buffalo Bandits (4-3) at Air Canada Centre at 7pm. The game will be available online only at youtube.com/thelacrossenetwork.
This game marks the second meeting of the season between the two clubs, but the first in Toronto. Earlier in the season, the Rock defeated the Bandits at First Niagara Center in Buffalo by a score of 14-12.
With the two teams separated by just one game in the loss column, there is a heightened importance to this game. A win would also seal the season series for Toronto and would give them the all important tie-breaker should the two teams end up tied at season’s end.
“This game has huge implications on where we may finish when all is said and done,” said Rock GM and Assistant Coach Terry Sanderson. “We enjoy playing at home and winning this game on Thursday is important for so many reasons.”
In the first meeting between the teams, Rock captain Colin Doyle turned in one of his most memorable performances since returning to Toronto in 2010. Doyle scored 4 goals and added 4 assists for an 8-point game. 2 of his 4 goals came shorthanded and at key times in the late going of the contest to keep Buffalo from closing the gap.
Rock forward Garrett Billings has also enjoyed his fair share of success against the Bandits recently but has definitely noticed a bit of a change to Buffalo’s defensive approach recently.
“We’ve watched some film and they have switched some things up,” noted Billings. “It will be interesting to see how the first quarter unfolds and how we’re able to adjust and find the openings.”
The Bandits will get a boost for Thursday’s game with the return of NLL all-time scoring leader John Tavares who was activated from the injured reserve list on Wednesday. Being removed from Buffalo’s active roster is veteran forward Tracey Kelusky who was placed on the injured reserve list.
Thursday’s game will be Edge Night hosted by Fearless Fred of 102.1 the Edge. One lucky Edge listener will win $1,000 at halftime.
The Rock will be at home next Friday night when they host the Colorado Mammoth at Air Canada Centre at 7:30pm. The Rock will be raising funds and collecting food donations for Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank at the game. Following the game, the Rock will auction off their game worn jerseys live on the floor. If the game is a sellout, Rock Owner Jamie Dawick will donate an additional $25,000 to Daily Bread. For the best ticket in town, visit www.torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.