Toronto – Having already defeated the Edmonton Rush earlier this season, the Rock (6-4) were successful for a second time tonight with a 14-9 win against the Rush in front of a home crowd of 14, 312.
The Rock did not waste any time in the first quarter, beginning aggressively on both ends showing great energy. Capitalizing on an early power play, the Rock posted the first goal of the game on a great shot in traffic by Josh Sanderson, before the Rush quickly evened the score and then took the lead midway through the quarter on another power play goal. The Edmonton lead was short lived as Sanderson would put in his second of the game at the 8:58 mark making it two apiece. After that goal, the Toronto defence took over keeping the Rush scoreless with goaltender Bob Watson stopping everything, some shots from point blank, to help end the quarter in a tie, 2-2.
The second quarter began as the first ended, with excellent defence leading to powerful offence. Anchored by Watson, Toronto’s stonewall defence would contribute to a goal run which began with Cam Woods who took the ball the length of the floor for an unassisted goal followed two minutes later by another from Aaron Wilson putting the home team up by two. The fifth Toronto goal came from Kasey Beirnes who levelled a Rush player in front of the net to put through his eleventh goal of the season. Rob Marshall scored a shorthanded goal midway through the quarter and before the run was over, the Rock put in three more goals in the last 70 seconds of the quarter heading into halftime with a 9-3 lead.
After the halftime break, Aaron Wilson would complete his hat trick in the first minute putting the Rock lead at seven goals but the Rush, scoring shortly after on a power play goal cut the lead to 10-5. Edmonton would go on to total four goals in the third but allowing four Rock goals and making no headway on the scoreboard. The Rock held the lead at 13-7 as the quarter ended.
The Rush scored twice midway into the fourth quarter cutting the lead to four goals which was as close as they would get. Matt Taylor’s goal at the 9:41 mark would complete his hat trick and kill the Edmonton momentum. The Rock would close out the game shutting down the Rush by a score of 14-9.
The Rock’s offensive effort was led by Aaron Wilson who tallied five points on four goals and an assist. Wilson was followed by three players with four points each: Ryan Benesch with four assists, Josh Sanderson on two goals and two assists and Matt Taylor who recorded three goals and one assist.
The win would not have been preserved if not for the excellent Rock defence anchored in net by Bob Watson, who stopped 43 shots on his way to the win. The defence was key in the breakout second quarter where they held the Rush to only one goal.
The Rock travel to Buffalo to take on the cross border Bandits at the HSBC Arena tomorrow, Saturday March 22nd at 7:30 p.m. Another win will help strengthen their position for a playoff spot and move them into third place in the East Division standings.