Toronto – The Rock opened up the 2008 season on the road with an 11-9 win over the Chicago Shamrox and are looking to repeat the end game result when they host the Shamrox tomorrow, April 12th at 7:00 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre. As the regular season winds down in the next couple weeks, the teams in the East continue to battle it out to secure playoff spots. Only the top four finishing teams in the East will make it to the playoffs.
The Rock (7-6) are in fourth place in the East sitting half a game ahead of the New York Titans heading into this weekends’ games after tough losses to the Rochester Knighthawks and Philadelphia Wings last weekend. Goaltender Bob Watson showed a remarkable effort on April 5th and April 6th games, allowing only 9 goals on 47 shots against the Knighthawks and giving up only 11 goals on 61 shots in the Rock loss to the Wings on Sunday night.
Newly acquired Lewis Ratcliff leads the Rock with 73 points (34 goals, 39 assists) and tallied 5 goals and 4 assists in the back to back games last weekend, including a hat trick in his debut game at home against the Rochester Knighthawks on April 5th. Forward Blaine Manning follows with 61 points (23 goals, 38 assists) for the Rock.
The Shamrox (4-7) who are in last place in the East are currently on a three game winning streak including a 12-11 victory over the Rochester Knighthawks at the end of March and a 15-14 OT win over the Philadelphia Wings last weekend. They are led by Mat Giles with 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) and Jonas Derks with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists).
Saturday nights’ game will be available live on Rogers Sportsnet Ontario at 7:00 p.m. EST and will be available live on the B2 Network. Fans can access and purchase the webcast by clicking the B2 icon at www.torontorock.com or www.nll.com .
The Rock travel to Calgary next weekend to face the Roughnecks at 9:30 p.m. EST before returning home to host the Philadelphia Wings in their final regular season game on Saturday April 26th as the playoff hunt continues and the regular season approaches the end.
The finishing top four teams in the East Division will make it into the playoffs. In the East Division semi-final games, the first place team hosts the fourth place finisher and the second place finisher hosts the third place team from their respective division.
In the Divisional Finals, the winner of the first vs. fourth place Divisional semi-final game faces the winner of the Second vs. Third place Divisional semi-final game in each respective division. Each game is hosted by the higher seeded team.
The Divisional Final winners shall meet in the 2008 NLL Championship Game (East vs. West) with the higher overall seed hosting the game.