Saturday 23 May 2015
Toronto Rock Wins Big, Advances to NLL Championship Series
The Toronto Rock ended their season in first place with a 14-4 record. Two of those losses were against the Rochester Knighthawks. Toronto won the first game of the season against them and then lost their next two regular season games. Last week in the first game of the Eastern final, they lost 10-9. Tonight it was win game one, then win the 10 minute mini-game or bye-bye Rock.
10,210 fans were rocking from the moment the Rock came charging out into the arena.
Rochester fans were in attendance.
Everyone sang the Canadian national anthem along with Scotty Newlands. After that, the Rock gathered for one more talk.
The fans were boisterous all night.
It was easy to see that the Rock were in no mood for a loss. Brett Hickey scored just 30 seconds into the game and again a minute later. Stephan Leblanc added another goal at the 3:20 mark for a very quick 3-0 lead. The Rock out ran, out scored and out hit the Knighthawks for most of the game.
The Toronto Rock Cheerleaders kept the crowd going.
At the half, the Rock led 8-3.
Stephan Leblanc scored a minute ten in the third quarter and now we just sat back to wait for the series deciding mini-game. The only problem was, it seemed the Rock did too. Rochester wasn't going down that easy and scored the next three goals to end the third and another minute into the fourth quarter. Suddenly that comfortable 8-3 lead was cut to an nervous 9-7 lead with 14 minutes to go!
Iggy came on with the cheerleaders at a break.
Toronto then scored a short handed goal and held off Rochester for eight minutes before putting in an insurance goal. In the end the Rock took the game 11-8 before a very excited crowd.
Then it was nailbiting time. A ten minute min-game to decide who would go to the championship finals. Iggy kept the crowd going!
Even the normally smiling cheerleaders were intense.
We all shouldn't have been. Very early, just 29 seconds in fact, Josh Sanderson put in this goal.
After three minutes of play, the Rock were up 3-0 and were not letting up for a second. After just six minutes of play and with less than four minutes to go, they had a commanding 7-0 lead. For Rock fans it was all fun. The Rochester fans started to leave when the score was 5-0. When it was all over the Rock were victorious with a 8-2 slaughter of the Knighthawks.
Fans had been given rally towels before the game and they were strewn all over the playing surface in celebration.
As great as the offence was, Brandon Miller in net made some huge saves to allow the offence to take charge. In the final quarter of the first game when Rochester was coming on, there was no scoring for eight minutes, mainly because of the great play of Miller, who deservedly was the nights first star.
Next Saturday night at 7 pm, the Rock host the Edmonton Rush in game one of the best of three championship finals. Teena had to miss tonight's game as she was flying home from St. Lucia where she was on vacation with her sister. We'll both definitely be there together next week for that opening game.