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Weekend Exhibition Scrimmage May Decide Final Spots

Toronto – With an exhibition scrimmage approaching on Sunday, the Toronto Rock are down to the last few decisions when it comes to setting their final roster that will open the season.  December 22nd is the date all NLL teams must finalize their rosters with 23 players landing on the active roster and 3 available spots on the practice roster.

Earlier in the week the Rock released defender Jon Durno which shrunk the number of players still in camp to 31.  Durno was acquired by the Rock in the Boston Blazers dispersal draft.

“Jon had a real good camp with us,” said Rock GM Terry Sanderson.  “We have 12 veteran defenders on our roster and as good of a camp as he had, he didn’t put anyone out of a job. We’re going to look at some younger guys for spots, practice roster included, this weekend and that will give us a better idea of where we’ll be with our final roster.”

With Ryan Sharp and Drew Petkoff each progressing well through their recovery from major knee surgery, the team doesn’t plan on rushing either player back into action which could mean some rookies beginning the season on the active roster and one or both of Sharp and Petkoff beginning the season on Injured Reserve.

“The opportunity is there for the younger players,” Sanderson remarked.  “There’s a chance we’ll have a couple of them start on the active roster.  There’s still potential for a first year player to grab a spot.”

Also, Josh Sanderson has been sidelined with a nagging lower body injury that has kept him out of the first two exhibition games and will also see him to sit out Sunday’s scrimmage.

“We feel we don’t have to force guys back due to our depth,” said Sanderson.  “The target is having Josh ready for the home opener.   We don’t see any reason why he won’t be ready, he could probably play on Sunday, but we’re going to err on the side of caution.”

On Sunday afternoon at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations, the Rock will play their final pre-season tune-up against the Minnesota Swarm at 4pm.  The Rock are 0-2 thus far in exhibition action having lost to Edmonton earlier in the month and then falling in overtime to Washington last weekend in Langley, BC.

Fans will be admitted to the game free of charge but are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy or a non-perishable food item to donate to the Six Nations Christmas Basket Drive.

Forwards (11)

Dan Carey, Colin Doyle, Rob Hellyer, Garrett Billings, Blaine Manning, Stephan Leblanc, Josh Sanderson, Kasey Beirnes, Shawn Udema, John Quarrie, Aaron Pascas.

Defencemen (18)

Jesse Gamble, Sandy Chapman, Patrick Merrill, Mike Hobbins, Rob Marshall, Phil Sanderson, Bruce Codd, Bill Greer, Cam Woods, Peter Rennie, Glen Bryan, Nick Inch, Stephen Hoar, Eric Bissell, Scott Johnston, Mark Farthing, Drew Petkoff, Ryan Sharp.

Goaltenders (2)

Matt Roik, Pat Campbell

The Toronto Rock will open their 2012 regular season on Sunday, January 8th against the Calgary Roughnecks at Air Canada Centre.  It will be another historic home opener for the Rock as the team will raise their sixth NLL Championship banner to the rafters.  For tickets, please visit www.torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.

Toronto Rock