TORONTO-Forward Matt Shearer scored his third goal of the game just 24 seconds into overtime to give the Rock a thrilling 11-10 come-from-behind overtime victory on Friday Feb. 10 in front of 16, 235 Rock faithful at the Air Canada Centre.
Shearer also scored the final two goals in regulation for the Rock, winners of their past three contests. The division-leading Knighthawks, meanwhile, fell to 4-2 and witnessed their four-game winning streak come to an end.
Aaron Wilson led the Rock offence, scoring four times on the evening to go along with Shearer’s hat-trick. Colin Doyle notched two goals as well, while Blaine Manning and Josh Sanderson each netted one apiece.
Veteran forward John Grant led the Rochester attack, scoring four times while adding two assists. Shawn Evans also had two markers for the Knighthawks.
The physical play to start the game was capped off by Toronto’s Patrick Merrill who received one of his three first-quarter minors, a boarding penalty just 2:09 into the contest. On the ensuing power play, Rochester forward Scott Evans opened the scoring, notching his sixth goal of the season to give the Knighthawks the early 1-0 advantage.
Veterans John Grant and Steve Toll each added a goal for the Knighthawks before Toronto’s Aaron Wilson put the Rock on the board with a power play marker at 11:21 of the frame. For Wilson, it was his team-leading 15th of the season and the 100th of his young NLL career.
Grant and Mike Accursi scored back-to-back goals to open the second quarter, giving the Knighthawks a commanding 5-1 lead. However, Wilson quickly responded for the Rock, notching his second and third scores of the night. Blaine Manning followed with his first of the game at 13:10 of the second quarter to close Rochester’s lead to 5-4 heading into the dressing room.
After a relatively low-scoring first half, both teams came out firing on all cylinders in the third quarter. Shawn Evans opened the scoring with his first of the game just 18 seconds into the quarter, one that featured each team notch four goals apiece.
Doyle closed the third frame with his second goal of the contest with 3.4 seconds left on the clock.
The third quarter also featured more physical play and was highlighted by a heated tout between feisty Knighthawks rookie forward Shawn Evans and veteran tough guy and Rock defenceman Dan Ladouceur.
The Rock then outscored Rochester 2-1 in the final quarter to send the game into overtime before Shearer’s heroics.
Up Next: The Rock (3-4) will look to improve their record to an even .500 tomorrow night against the Edmonton Rush (0-5). The Rock flies to Edmonton Saturday morning before the late-evening tilt against the Rush, a 10:30 p.m. Eastern start. The game can be heard live on The Fan 590 or you can watch it live on Rogers Sportsnet West. The game is also available on a tape delay beginning at Midnight on Rogers Sportsnet West. The next home game is the Hall of Fame game when the Rock hosts the Philadelphia Wings Friday Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Five Hall-of-Famers, including late Rock coach Les Bartley, will be inducted into the NLL’s first Hall of Fame. Then on Saturday Feb. 25 the Rock hosts the National Lacrosse League All-Star Game at 4 p.m. That game can be seen live on Rogers Sportsnet in all regions or heard live on the Fan 590.
Game Notes: The game marked the second Rock contest this season that has gone into OT (Jan.7 vs. Arizona) … Toronto’s five power play goals marked a season high … Toronto Argonauts QB Damon Allen presented Rock captain Jim Veltman with a plaque commemorating his 2000th career loose ball, which he accomplished on Feb. 5 against Calgary … The U of T Varsity Blues women’s lacrosse team scrimmaged on the floor at halftime …
ROCK 11, KNIGHTHAWKS 10
(At Air Canada Centre)
1. Rochester, Scott Evans (Grant, Williams) 3:26 pp
2. Rochester, Grant (Scott Evans, Williams) 4:19
3. Rochester, Toll (unassisted) 6:29
4. Toronto, Wilson (Manning, J. Sanderson) 11:21 pp
Penalties – Roch Shawn Evans (Roughing) 2:09; Tor Merrill (roughing, boarding) 2:09; Roch Scott Evans (unsportsmanlike conduct) 4:19; Tor Rubel (roughing) 4:19; Roch bench (too many men, served by Hoar) 7:28; Tor Merrill (holding) 8:19; Roch Hoar (holding) 11:05.
5. Rochester, Grant 2 (Toll) 5:27
6. Rochester, Accursi (Grant, Millin) 7:27 pp
7. Toronto Wilson 2 (Veltman, MacDonald) 8:22
8. Toronto Wilson 3 (J. Sanderson, Doyle) 12:28 pp
9. Tor, Manning (Doyle, Veltman) 13:10 pp
Penalties – Tor Kruger (goaltender interference) 6:40; Roch Steve Penny (holding) 9:49; Roch Accursi (goaltender interference) 10:55; Roch Chris Schiller (holding) 13:03; Tor Beisel (checking from behind) 13:42; Roch Scott Evans (goaltender interference) 13:55.
10. Rochester Shawn Evans (unassisted) 0:18
11. Toronto Doyle (J. Sanderson, Manning) 0:44
12. Rochester Williams (unassisted) 1:48
13. Toronto J. Sanderson (Shearer, Beisel) 3:12
14. Rochester Shawn Evans 2 (Williams, Livingstone) 4:44
15. Toronto Wilson 4 (J. Sanderson, Veltman) 7:23 pp
16. Rochester Grant 3 (Abrams) 10:24
17. Toronto Doyle 2 (Shearer, Veltman) 14:57 ea
Penalties – Rochester bench (too many men, served by Hoar) 7:05; Scott Evans (slashing) 9:36; Tor Veltman (roughing) 9:36; Roch Williams (roughing); Roch Shawn Evans (fighting major) 10:24; Tor Ladouceur (roughing, fighting major) 10:24; Roch Thorpe (delay of game) 11:41.
18. Rochester Grant 4 (Scott Evans, Williams) 4:09
19. Toronto Shearer (Veltman, Beisel) 8:52
20. Toronto Shearer 2 (Manning, Veltman) 9:00
Penalties – Tor Merrill (high sticking) 1:46; Tor MacDonald (roughing) 4:09.
21. Toronto Shearer 3 (Manning, J.Sanderson) 0:24 gwg
Scoring by period : 1 2 3 4 OT T
Rochester 3 2 4 1 0 10
Toronto 1 3 4 2 1 11
Shots by period : 1 2 3 4 OT T
Rochester 13 6 7 17 0 43
Toronto 6 11 20 12 1 50
Goalies: Rochester – O’Toole (39 saves, 50 shots); Toronto – Watson (33 saves, 43 shots)
Powerplays: Rochester 2/6; Toronto 5/8.
Referees: Rick Lum, Grant Spies, Scott Malloy