TORONTO – The Toronto Rock dropped their first game of a home-and-away series to the Minnesota Swarm 13-10 at the Air Canada Centre. The back half of the weekend series takes place in Rochester, NY tomorrow night.
Rock Captain, Chris Driscoll started off scoring in the first quarter draining a goal past Swarm goalie Kevin Croswell. After many position changes, Sean Pollock of the Swarm tied the game up at one-all. Blaine Manning answered back seconds later, diving in front of the goal to regain the lead for Toronto. A fight to the goal by Chad Thompson gave the Rock a 3-1 lead with five minutes remaining in the quarter. Luke Wiles capped off the scoring to end the first quarter with the Rock up 4-1.
Minnesota began to battle back in the second quarter with Kevin Buchanan opening scoring. Jeff Gilbert wouldn’t let it stay that way scoring his first goal of the season and Rob Marshall followed it up with a shorthanded goal from Driscoll. Ryan Ward, Colin Achenbach and Buchanan answered back for the Swarm to bring their tally to six. Wiles netted his second of the night with one minute remaining to get the Rock back the lead, ahead 7-6 going into half-time.
Aaron Wilson tied the game up to start the second half before Driscoll scooped up a loose ball and sank it into the back of the Swarm net for his second of the night. Minnesota’s Kevin Ross continued the back-and-forth battle, scoring another for the visitors followed by teammate Buchanan. Nine scoreless minutes would pass till Swarm forward Dan Marohl snuck one past Rock tender Bob Watson from the back of the net, followed by Buchanan draining his fourth of the game.
Buchanan added his fifth goal of the night for Minnesota to kick off the fourth quarter up 11-8. Watson flailed and pawed to save three rapid fire shots from the Swarm, but couldn’t stop Andrew Watt as he broke away to battle Watson one-on-one. Kasey Beirnes drained back-to-back goals, but the Rock couldn’t continue on their streak giving up another score to Wilson. Minnesota took the decision 13-10 to advance to 3-5 on the season.
Top scorers for the Rock were Chris Driscoll, Luke Wiles and Kasey Beirnes, each with two goals. Bob Watson stopped 40 of 53 shots on goal.
Kevin Croswell recorded the win in net for the Swarm. Kevin Buchanan led Minnesota’s scoring streak with five goals and one assist.
The Rock (2-6) take to the road and head for Rochester, NY for their second 2009 match up with the Knighthawks (2-5) tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.
Don’t miss any of the road action. The Toronto Rock website has a direct link to the NLL Network featuring high quality online video broadcasts of the NLL regular season and playoff games for the 2009 season. Watch every ball drop live or on demand in your free time.