TORONTO – A second half rally could not extinguish the Boston Blazers as the Toronto Rock dropped tonight’s home game to the Blazers 14-13 at the Air Canada Centre.
The game started in Boston’s favour, with Matt Lyons, Gary Binning and Jay Thorimbert dropping shots past Bob Watson.
At the first quarter break, the Toronto Rock took time to recognize and honour retired veteran defender, Dan Ladouceur. Joined by Rock Captain Chris Driscoll and PA Announcer Dan Dunleavy, Ladouceur was welcomed back to his home turf at the ACC by a standing ovation from the 12, 884 fans in attendance.
After watching a tribute video commemorating his 10 years with the Toronto Rock, Ladouceur was asked about what it was like to spend his career in Toronto.
“Toronto has been an amazing place to play,” said Ladouceur. “The fans in Toronto are the best the NLL has seen. I’m honoured to have been part of the Toronto Rock.”
When the game resumed Daryl Veltman continued the Blazers streak. Rock defender Jeff Gilbert broke away from the Boston pack to go one-on-one with Anthony Cosmo, beating him for Toronto’s first goal of the night. It looked as if that’s the way the quarter would end, until Boston’s Greg Downing netted his first of the year to end the quarter with the Rock trailing 5-1.
Driscoll brought Toronto into the second, starting the quarter in dramatic fashion with a goal off the face-off, nine seconds in. Lewis Ratcliff dropped the next past Cosmo, to bring the Rock up to three. Veltman answered back for Boston on a rebound, catching Watson helpless after deflecting a Blazers shot. Dan Dawson sank Boston’s seventh, unassisted with 36 seconds left in the half.
The Rock started the second half shorthanded, but it didn’t slow down Bill McGlone, who knocked one past Cosmo. Luke Wiles followed suit putting one between the legs of Boston’s netminder and Craig Conn would be the next to strike for Toronto, scoring his tenth of the season. Ten minutes into the third quarter, Sean Morris scored for Boston followed by Lyons’ second. McGlone answered back with his second of the night. His aerial moves couldn’t be challenged as the goal stuck. Toronto narrowed the gap heading into the fourth down by two.
Downing and Dawson brought the Blazers tally to eleven with their seconds of the game. Wiles spoke up for the Rock, scoring his twenty-ninth goal this season. Veltman collected the hat trick halfway through the fourth quarter before Ratcliff dropped his second of the night past Cosmo followed by Jason Clark with his first goal in Rock uniform this season to put Toronto into double digits. Morris and Jason Bloom answered back, bringing Boston to 14. Ratcliff and Wiles continued their scoring streaks, both draining their third goal. In a last ditch effort Clark scored his second with 0.9 seconds remaining. Time ran out on the clock awarding Boston the 14-13 win.
Lewis Ratcliff and Luke Wiles led the Rock with three goals apiece. Bob Watson turned away 39 of 53 shots on net.
Top scorer for Boston was Daryl Veltman, with three goals. Anthony Cosmo recorded the win in net saving 53 of Toronto’s 66 attempts.
Toronto takes to the road for their last away game of the 2009 regular season to face the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday April 11th. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, PA.
The Rock’s final regular season home game is Saturday, April 18th when Toronto hosts the San Jose Stealth at the Air Canada Centre. Ball drop is set for 7:00 p.m.