Rock Dominate First Half But Fail To Capitalize
Oakville, ON – The Toronto Rock carried the play for much of the night, outshooting the Philadelphia Wings 64-38, however Philadelphia came away with a 10-8 decision over Toronto on Saturday night at the TRAC in Oakville, ON. Toronto finished the exhibition season with a 1-2 record.
“I thought we did a lot of good things out there,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “Their goaltender played well in their net, all in all it was a productive night for us. In the end, I thought we shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times and that was the difference.”
Toronto’s only lead of the night came in the first quarter at 2-1 just under three minutes in. Despite holding an advantage in shots on goal and scoring opportunities, it was the Wings that were constantly able to score a goal when they needed to in order to stay ahead.
The Wings’ Zach Higgins made several key stops and a series of Rock penalties in the later stages of the second quarter were the home side’s undoing. Philadelphia cashed in with three straight power play goals to cap off a four-goal run to lead 5-2. Toronto scored a power play goal of their own when Rob Hellyer struck with less than two minutes remaining in the half to pull the Rock within two at 5-3.
In the third quarter, the Rock were able to tie the game twice and headed into the final fifteen minutes tied 6-6. The Wings scored the first two goals of the final quarter to lead 8-6 and the Rock couldn’t string enough goals together to even the score. The Wings’ final marker came with just 39 seconds to play, icing the 10-8 win.
“I thought it was a goaltending duel tonight, their goalies both played well, and Nick played outstanding,” said Rock forward Dan Dawson. “Anytime you hold a team to ten goals and under in this league, you give yourself a good chance to win.”
The attention now shifts to the final roster submission which will take place prior to Monday’s 12noon ET deadline. The Rock will submit an Active Roster of 21 players to begin the 2021-22 season. From there, the countdown is on to the Rock’s first game in what feels like forever, and it will take place at the team’s new home.
“It’s going to be a big night for us, a big night for the NLL, just a big night for the organization and we get to open up in Hamilton,” said Sawyer looking ahead to next Saturday’s Home Opener against Albany.
Rock Goal Scorers: Hellyer (3), Schreiber (2), Harris (1), Reinholdt (1), Slade (1)
Tickets for Saturday’s Home Opener at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton are on sale now through ticketmaster.ca and torontorock.com.
For more information on Toronto Rock Season Memberships, please contact a Toronto Rock account executive at 416-596-3075 or visit torontorock.com.