Toronto, ON – Last week’s game against the Anaheim Storm proved to be a real life version of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” as a simple 5 hour flight to LAX turned into a 17 hour travel day. The Toronto Rock, like many other Canadians, got caught up in the Jetsgo fiasco Friday morning and were left scrambling for a flight that would get them to Anaheim in time for their first game at Arrowhead Pond in franchise history.
Despite the wearisome day of travel and the headaches that come along with last minute changes to travel plans, the Rock hit the floor on Sunday refreshed and ready for action. The Anaheim Storm fought the good fight but the Rock walked away with a 14-6 win over the struggling franchise. The win translated into a 6-3 overall record for that Rock that placed them second overall in the Eastern Division. Just a half game separates the Bandits, Rock and Knighthawks, who currently sit first, second and third respectively.
This weekend the Rock prepare to take on the Arizona Sting, another franchise first. The Sting have won their last 3 games, including a pair of back to back wins against the San Jose Stealth last weekend. The Rock are coming off of an 8 goal win which saw them increase their road record to 3-1.
“We put in a great effort as a team last weekend; Bob was right on his game and the defensive guys were right there to back him up. We need to continue playing on that level if we expect to win against a team like the Sting, who are on a bit of a winning streak right now” Terry Sanderson, Toronto Rock Head Coach and GM.
The Arizona Sting boasts two Top 25 League scorers right now, including Ontario native Dan Dawson. Dawson currently sits atop Sting standings and 5th overall in League standings with 55 points on 33 goals and 22 assists. The Rock have evenly spread scoring around their offense, giving them three League Top 10 scorers; Colin Doyle (20G, 36A), Josh Sanderson (16G, 39A) and Blaine Manning (19G, 35A).
Statistically, these teams are evenly matched. Mere percentage points separate them in face offs, shot percentage and save percentage. The only glaring difference lies in special teams, specifically penalty killing. The Sting have the lowest penalty killing percentage in the League at 41.51%, the Rock sit at the opposite end of the spectrum with a League leading 62.32%.
“This is an extremely good match-up this weekend which will probably translate into an exhilarating game for fans and players alike. We’ve learned not to take anyone in this League lightly, especially a team that has the tenacity of the Sting.” said Coach Sanderson of this weekend’s game.
Tickets are still available for this weekend’s game against the Arizona Sting through Ticketmaster outlets online at www.ticketmaster.ca , by phone at (416) 872 5000 or in person at the Box Office at the Air Canada Centre. Please note that game time has been changed to a 7:00pm start, to accommodate for television broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet. For fans that can’t make it down to the game they can catch all the action live on AM 640 Toronto. Pre-game show begins at 6:30pm with Joe Bowen and Blair Campbell.