The Rock headed into the famed Madison Square Gardens for their first meeting with the New York Titans looking to go one game above .500 and bounce back from a tough home loss last week. The Rock made a valiant attempt to comeback in the second half after being down for most of the game, but ran out of gas down the stretch losing in their first trip to New York City 13-10 snapping the Titans losing streak.
Scoring in the first quarter was an unusually low and both teams looked to start the game with high energy. The Titans were the first to score as Brian Tower put one in midway through the quarter putting New York up early. The Rock answered with a goal from Blaine Manning in the dying minutes of the first on an assist by goaltender Bob Watson and the quarter would end in a low score of 1-1.
The second began more physical with New York showing more energy on the offensive end and the Titans would push ahead on a goal by Brendan Mundorf putting them up by one. That lead would be erased quickly as Josh Sanderson scored his first of the game midway through the period. The Titans would score another three, two of which were on power play situations late in the period. The Titans would outshoot the Rock 32-20 in the half as they led 5-2.
The Titans continued in the second half striking first in the quarter but the Rock looked to reverse their fortunes on two short handed goals. A Phil Sanderson break away followed by a beautifully placed low shot bullet by Chris Driscoll cut the Titans lead back to two. With the Rock showing more movement on offense, Blaine Manning scored his second of the game bringing the lead to one midway into the quarter. Just as the tide seemed to be turning in Toronto’s favour, New York fired off two quick goals to up their lead 5-3. Toronto were not ready to relinquish the game yet and Aaron Wilson showed why he’s playing on the Eastern Division All-Star team in Portland next weekend scoring two goals in a forty second span. Chris the “Pistol” Driscoll’s second of the night tied the game at eight a piece going into the final frame in a quarter that was all Toronto.
The Rock looked to carry the momentum they had to end the third scoring early on a goal by Rusty Kruger and taking the lead for the first time in the game. The Titans matched the score on Mundorf’s third, which was surrounded in controversy as he made contact with Watson passing through the crease on the goal knocking him down. This would lead to a shoving match resulting in a two man advantage for the Rock, but the Titans were able to kill the penalties and take back the lead on Pat Maddalena’s second goal of the night midway through the period. Matt Alrich added another making it 11-9 and putting the game out of reach for Toronto. The game would end with the score 13-10 in favour of the New York Titans.
The Rock were led by Chris Driscoll with three goals with Aaron Wilson and Blaine Manning each contributing two. Bob Watson made 42 saves in the loss.
The Rock now 4-5 will have the next week off for the All Star break with Aaron Wilson and Josh Sanderson representing the team in Portland, Oregon on Saturday March 10th. The Rock will resume their regular season schedule in Edmonton on March 16th before heading back to Toronto on March 17th to face the Colorado Mammoth at home.