TORONTO – The Toronto Rock host the Calgary Roughnecks this weekend on Saturday January 17 at the Air Canada Centre. A win for Toronto will tie Calgary’s two-win record for top spot amongst Canadian teams in the National Lacrosse League (NLL).
The Toronto Rock (1-1) aim to rebound off last Saturday’s 8-6 loss at the hands of defending NLL Champions, the Buffalo Bandits.
Kasey Beirnes led Toronto in points (3 goals, 1 assist), continuing his scoring streak with his second three goal performance in as many games. Bill McGlone, Blaine Manning and Jason Crosbie tallied one goal each for the Rock.
“We created scoring opportunities but need more out of the offence to finish on them,” said Toronto Rock coach Glenn Clark. “You don’t get marks for nice tries, but it’s a different feeling, we were a lot more dangerous.”
The low scoring game was controlled by defence and goaltending. Rock goalie Bob Watson was the defensive standout of the game stopping 39 of 47 shots on net making incredible saves and thrashing for rebounds. Watson sits second in the NLL in saves with 83 behind Matt Disher of the Portland Lumberjax.
The Calgary Roughnecks (2-0) come into this match up off back-to-back wins against the San Jose Stealth and Edmonton Rush last weekend. Veteran Curt Malawsky collected seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) for Calgary in the two games including the overtime game-winning goal against Edmonton.
Since the inception of Calgary’s team in 2002, the Rock have dominated the Roughnecks 10-5 in all-time meetings. The teams split the 2008 season with home wins. Toronto took the March 1, 2008 game 9-7 at the Air Canada Centre and Calgary won 12-11 at the Pengrowth Saddledome on April 19, 2008 in overtime.
West Division Calgary marks Toronto’s first cross divisional matchup of 2009 after facing the New York Titans and Buffalo Bandits, fellow East Division foes.
Crosbie (2 goals, 9 assists) leads the Rock in points while Manning (6 goals, 4 assists) and Lewis Ratcliff (3 goals, 7 assists) each follow with ten points.
Earlier this week the Toronto Rock Lacrosse Club traded forward Ryan Benesch and defender Derek Suddons to the Edmonton Rush in exchange for a first round selection in the 2009 NLL Entry Draft (acquired from Portland) and a second round selection in the 2010 NLL Entry Draft. Due to club policy terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Join the Rock this weekend on Saturday January 17th as they vie for top spot in Canada. Ball drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST at the Air Canada Centre. Fans that cannot make the game can watch live and free of charge on the NLL Network, streamed online at www.nll.com <http://www.nll.com> .-L. Bridgman-