Toronto, ON – The Toronto Rock played their second game of a home-and-home series against the Philadelphia Wings Sunday afternoon. The Rock were looking for their 7th win in a row as the 2005 regular season begins to wind down. Toronto has had luck on the road against the Wings as they clinched a playoff spot last weekend, and last night secured home field advantage with a 15-11 win in Philadelphia and a first round bye to the semi finals. The first Sunday game at the Air Canada Centre saw 16,989 fans cheering on their first place Toronto Rock for a game that entailed bragging rights and home pride.
The first quarter saw Philadelphia out for redemption as they put three somewhat sloppy goals past Rock goaltender Bob Watson. It wasn’t until halfway through the first quarter the home town boys evened the score at 3 apiece with goals from Trudeau, Manning, and Doyle. Philadelphia showed no signs of letting up as they powered through the Rock’s defense, and surged forward with 4 more goals, and the 8-4 lead heading into the second half.
It was only certain that Terry Sanderson would be sure to say a few words in the dressing room at the half. Thankfully, the Rock listened.
Colin Doyle didn’t waste any time as he netted his second goal of the night, translating in to his league leading 40th of the year. Additionally, his role as assistant captain has increased his intensity and aggressiveness, and with the same goal hit 100 points on the season.
An uneventful third quarter made way for an extremely exciting fourth, as the Rock entered the last quarter down 11-6. It all came down to the last ten minutes, as halfway through the fourth quarter, they hustled four goals in under two minutes, with 2 from Manning and 1 a piece from Beisel and Wilson. The Air Canada Centre was fired up as the Rock saw nothing but net in a thrilling last minute comeback. Notably, the goals were coupled by backup goaltender Phil Wetherup’s dominating tending at one end, followed by sprints to the bench to allow for the offensive push at the other end. Josh Sanderson added another goal to his stellar 7 point night. With four minutes remaining, the Rock had incredibly tied the game at 13, capitalized by a breakaway top corner blaze by feisty defenseman Chris Driscoll. The crowd went wild as the word “de-fense” rumbled through the stands at the Air Canada Centre. Dan Ladouceur anchored the defense as his loose ball pickup led to Josh Sanderson’s third goal of the night, and the Rock had the lead for the first time in the entire game. It was all that they needed to once again prove why they dominate the League and have captured the spirit of Toronto. With an unbelievable eight unanswered goals, the Rock flew away with a 14-13 thriller. Rock top point getters were Colin Doyle (2G, 7A), Blaine Manning (4G, 4A), and Josh Sanderson (3G, 4A).
With the home field clinch this weekend, game tickets for the playoffs are now on sale through Ticketmaster, online at www.ticketmaster.ca , by phone at (416) 872 5000, or in person at the Box Office at the Air Canada Centre. Youth (16 and under) tickets range from $11.50 to $35.50, and Adult tickets range from $25.00 to $61.00. For groups and gondola information, contact the Rock office at (416) 596 3075. Championship game tickets are also now on sale. Check out www.torontorock.com for more information or www.ticketmaster.ca to purchase your tickets today!