Shawn Palmer, Correspondent Toronto Rock
Lacrosse is Awesome©
Featured Image Photo Credit: Ryan McCullough
On Sunday March 9, the Calgary Roughnecks (5-5) visited the Toronto Rock (7-4) for the only meeting of the two teams this season. Toronto hadn’t played at home since February 15, and the Scotiabank Arena was filled with 7,826 Rock fans for ‘Kidz Day’ in Rock City in anticipation of another home win. The Rock had just defeated another West Division team, the Saskatchewan Rush, in a come from behind win last week while the Roughnecks suffered a disappointing loss to the Seals in their last game. Toronto wanted to stay on top of the North division and had two of their top scorers, Tom Schreiber and Dan Dawson return to the lineup for the contest tonight. Calgary was looking to get back into contention in the West division with a win. After a close first quarter, Calgary took the lead and was able to hold on for the remainder of the game. Final Score: Calgary 13—Toronto 10.
Toronto opened the scoring five and a half minutes into the game as Dan Craig (1G, 3A) was the recipient of a nice cross crease pass from Rob Hellyer (2G, 3A) and he put a quick stick past Christian Del Bianco (1A, 45 saves) into the open side for a 1 – 0 Rock lead. Less than half a minute later, Rhys Duch (2G, 3A) received a pass from Tyler Pace (1G, 4A) as he was cutting to the net to beat Nick Rose (38 saves) low to the glove hand side to tie the game at ones. Calgary took their first lead of the game when Zach Herreweyers (1G, 1A) made a nice swim move to beat his defender and dove across the crease beating Rose over the far shoulder to make it 2 – 1. After some back and forth action the Roughnecks would score their third in a row when Curtis Dickson (3G) showed why his nickname is “Superman” receiving a pass from Pace behind the net and as he caught the ball, started to dive forward and put the ball into the top corner before Rose could get over to cover that part of the net and it was now 3 – 1 for the Roughnecks. Toronto would stop the Calgary run with just under three minutes left in the quarter. David Brock (1G, 1A) grabbed the loose ball and ran the length of the floor to beat Del Bianco with a bounce shot between the legs to draw the Rock within one at 3 – 2. A minute later Brock would cause a turnover and passed the ball to Damon Edwards (1G) who fired a rocket over Del Bianco’s shoulder into the top corner for the equalizer. The quarter ended with Calgary holding the lead in shots 16 – 7 over Toronto. Score at the end of one: Toronto 3—Calgary 3.
The teams would combine for 10 goals in the second with the Roughnecks outscoring the Rock 6-4. Calgary would open up the scoring in the second when Dickson took a step back shot that found the short side to restore the Calgary lead 4 – 3. Dan Taylor (2G, 2A) would extend the lead as he found himself alone in front of the net and put a shot over Rose’s shoulder to make it 5 – 3 for the Roughnecks. Mitch Wilde (1G) would add another Calgary goal less than 15 seconds later off a pass through the middle from Herreweyers and his shot found an opening over Rose’s shoulder giving Calgary a 6 – 3 lead at the 6:06 mark of the second. On a power play, Hellyer would halt the Calgary run as he took a side arm shot from the top to beat Del Bianco five-hole to get the Rock within two at 6 – 4. Dickson would complete his hat trick in the first half when he got away from his defender and received a pass in front from Pace, threw two fakes and put the ball into the top corner restoring the three goal lead for Calgary at 7 – 4. Tom Schreiber (2G) back from injury, came over the top and beat Del Bianco with a hard bounce shot over the shoulder to get the Rock back to within two. But Duch would get that one back on the power play a minute and a half later as he fired an over hand shot from the top stick side extending the Roughnecks lead to 8 – 5. A little over a minute later Josh Jubenville (1G) picked off a pass in his own zone and went on a breakaway and beat Del Bianco over the shoulder to cutting the lead to two. Schreiber would score his second of the game beating his defender and as he was heading to the net, was tripped and while falling was able to take a shot that went over Del Bianco’s shoulder and into the top corner cutting Calgary’s lead 8 – 7 and that was the closest they would get. With under two minutes left in the first half Shane Simpson (2G, 1A) on the give and go to Dane Dobbie (1G, 4A) who fired it far side to beat Rose increasing Calgary’s lead back to two. Shots at the end of the half favored Calgary 38-22. Score at the end of two: Calgary 9—Toronto 7.
Less than a minute into the second half Calgary would increase their lead as Taylor took a shot he was knocked to the ground and the shot would make it through Rose’s legs making it 10 – 7. Two minutes later on a power play, as Pace was cutting through the middle of the defense, he received a pass from Taylor and beat Rose with a shot to the glove side giving the Roughnecks a four goal cushion at 11 – 7. Challen Rogers (1G) would stop the three-goal run and cut into the lead with an over hand bounce shot from the outside beating Del Bianco through the legs; and Hellyer would notch his second with 2:17 remaining coming around a pick at the top and firing a high to low shot to beat Del Bianco glove side to get the Rock within two. Shots after three still favored Calgary 42-36. Score at the end of three: Calgary 11—Toronto 9.
For the third quarter in a row the Roughnecks would score in the first three minutes of the frame. This time it would be Simpson receiving an outlet pass from Del Bianco and he broke in on Rose and beat him with a bounce shot through the legs to give Calgary another three goal lead. Both teams went back and forth for the next six minutes without any scoring until Scott Dominey (1G) on the three on one break, received a flip pass back to him from Sheldon Burns (1A) and his low shot to the stick side beat Del Bianco getting the Rock as close as they would get at 12 – 10. For the final seven minutes in the fourth, the Toronto offense wasn’t able to break through the Calgary defense and with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker Simpson, who was killing off the final 30 seconds of the game beat his defender and deposited the ball into the Toronto empty net completing the scoring and giving the Roughnecks the 13 – 10 win.
The final shots on net were Calgary 55 and Toronto 55.
Calgary dominated the faceoff dot as Tyler Burton (1A) went 22 for 28 in the faceoffs.
Toronto’s power play went 1 – 4 and Calgary went 2 – 5.
Toronto’s top players:
Rob Hellyer – 2G, 3A
Dan Craig – 1G, 3A
Tom Schreiber – 2G
Calgary’s top players:
Curtis Dickson – 3G
Rhys Duch – 2G, 3A
Dane Dobbie – 1G, 4A
Calgary: 53 SOG; 2o SOFF; 83 LB; 22-28 FO; 2-5 PP; 10 PIM
Toronto: 55 SOG; 21 SOFF; 79 LB; 6-28 FO; 1-4 PP; 12 PIM
Calgary Christian Del Bianco: 55 SOG; 45 Saves; 10 GA; .818 Sv%
Toronto Nick Rose: 52 SOG; 40 Saves; 12 GA; .769 Sv%
The Toronto Rock (7-4) will host the Buffalo Bandits (7-4) on Friday March 13, game time 7:30 p.m. EST. This game is huge for both teams as they vie for second place in the North Division. The series is tied at one game apiece. Winner takes the series.
The Calgary Roughnecks (5-5) who are now sitting in fourth place in the West Division will play host to their West Division rivals the Saskatchewan Rush (7-3) on Friday March 13, game time 9:30 p.m. EST.
Shawn Palmer, Correspondent Toronto Rock
Lacrosse is Awesome©