St. Paul, MN – The Toronto Rock flew to Minnesota last night, in search of the elusive win that they couldn’t secure in a home and home series against the Rochester Knighthawks 2 weeks ago. This weekend would represent the 2nd set of back-to-back weekends for Toronto in the 2005 season. The last time the Rock and the Swarm met was January 15 at the Air Canada Centre. In that game, the Rock emerged with a win from the fiercely fought battle that saw a final score of 19-15.
The Swarm, in search of their first win on home turf, jumped to a 2 goal lead as Ryder Bateman and Kelly Hall each netted one for Minnesota. The Rock looked shaky and it seemed as though they were unable to pull it together as they took 2 penalties in the first 2 minutes but 3 unanswered goals from the Rock’s Josh Sanderson and Aaron Wilson rallied Toronto back into team form. Minnesota’s Hall finally chimed in for the Swarm at 8:47, followed by Sean Pollock which would give Minnesota the 1 goal advantage heading into the second.
The Rock rallied in the second, seeing 4 goals from Manning, Wilson, Sanderson and rookie Jimmy Quinlan. Minnesota spent a great deal of the quarter in the penalty box which allowed the Rock the man-up advantage 3 times. With the Rock’s power play the way it has been and solid play from goaltender Bob Watson, it was a dangerous edge to give to Toronto. At the end of two, the Rock held the 7-4 advantage over the Swarm.
Coming back off the half, the Swarm seemed to have smartened up. They took fewer penalties and appeared much more focused on the game. Manning struck first for the Rock at 2:08 to which Kerry Susheski quickly answered to for Minnesota. Colin Doyle brought the Rock out of a scoring drought at 10:40 and 13:37 with his first 2 goals of the night. Minnesota continued to fight back taking shot after shot but Watson was solid for the Rock between the pipes.
The 4th quarter’s strong story continued to be the offensive onslaught from the Rock. Aaron Wilson added his third of the night and defenseman Glenn Clark got in on the action when he netted 1 with the helper from Captain Jim Veltman. The Rock’s strongest point getters of the night were Colin Doyle and Josh Sanderson. Doyle netted 2 more goals and added 1 helper in the 4th to bring him to 9 points on 4 goals and 5 assists. J. Sanderson also finished the night with 9 points on 3 goals and 6 assists. The resurgence of offensive firepower and focus from the Rock’s defense allowed Toronto to take home the 15-9 win over the Swarm, leaving Minnesota still searching for their first elusive home turf win.
The Rock play again tomorrow night at the Air Canada Centre versus the Calgary Roughnecks. Tickets are still available for the 7:30pm “Ladies Night” game through Ticketmaster outlets online at www.torontorock.com , by phone at (416) 872 5000 or in person at the Box Office at the Air Canada Centre.