Rochester, NY – The Toronto Rock traveled to Rochester last night following an abysmal game at the Air Canada Centre against the Knighthawks. The Rock began the season with 2 wins against the Bandits and the Swarm but last night a very different team hit the floor. Following a 15-6 loss in Friday’s game, the Rock were looking for vengeance in front of the 8,867 fans in attendance at the Blue Cross Arena.
Three minutes into the first there were no goals scored but plenty of penalties were being served. Toronto was awarded a penalty shot when a 4th Rochester player entered the penalty box on a high sticking penalty. Carrying Friday’s solid performance into Saturday’s game, O’Toole stopped Sanderson’s shot cold. The score remained 0-0 until Mike Accursi slipped one past Watson to put the Hawks up by one. Colin Doyle netted one of his own with the assist from Josh Sanderson on the power play. Rochester put two more in reminiscent of Friday’s game but Toronto battled back with goals from Nick Trudeau and Glenn Clark to tie the score at 3 a piece.
The teams traded goals instead of blows in the second quarter. Shawn Williams netted the first of the second to give Rochester the 1 goal advantage but Blaine Manning answered with a goal of his own at 10:25 to even things out. Colin Doyle and Scott Evans would each add one more for their respective teams to tie it up at 5 going into the half.
Rochester jumped out to the quick lead in the third and killed off a Rock power play to maintain their one goal lead. But Rock rookie Jimmy Quinlan netted his first NLL goal to nullify the missed man-up opportunity and tie things up. The Rock took the lead for the first time in the game with 1:41 left in the third when Quinlan netted his second of the night with the assist from Colin Doyle. Shawn Williams tapped in two goals of his own, while goalie Pat O’Toole stepped up with heroic like saves to give Rochester the 1 goal lead once again heading into the fourth.
John Grant shot one past Watson to put the Hawks up by 2 but Jimmy Quinlan brought the Rock within one when he put one in the back of the net to complete the first natural hat trick of his pro career. Two quick penalty calls on the Rock saw the Hawks take the lead again but a 2 goal rally by the Rock tied the game at 11 sending it into sudden death overtime. Just 45 seconds into the first OT John Grant snuck one past Watson to seal the 12-11 win for the Knighthawks.
The Rock’s next game takes place on Friday February 11 when they travel to the Xcel Centre in St. Paul to take on the Minnesota Swarm. The Rock’s next home game will take place on Saturday February 12, 2005 at 7:30pm. Toronto will host the Calgary Roughnecks for Ladies Night at the Air Canada Centre. Tickets are available for the game though Ticketmaster outlets by calling (416) 872 5000, online at www.ticketmaster.ca or in person at the Box Office at the Air Canada Centre.