Shawn Palmer, Toronto Rock Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©
Photo Credit: Georgia Swarm
On Saturday night February 18, 2023, the Toronto Rock (8-2) hosted the Georgia Swarm (0-7) as the Rock were trying to sweep the season series after their win in Georgia last week and the Swarm were trying to win their first game of the year. Both teams were missing key members. Toronto didn’t dress Dan Dawson or Mitch DeSnoo and Georgia was missing Jordan MacIntosh. Neither team’s offenses could get on track early in the game but late in the first quarter the Rock took the lead and never looked back coming away with a 16 -7 win in front of 8,912 fans.
The first quarter saw both teams having difficulties finding the back of the net. Whether it was good saves by the goalies, turnovers or the offense not being able to get a shot on net there wasn’t a goal until the 11th minute of the first. The Toronto Rock’s Challen Rogers (2G) took a sidearm shot around his defender and beat Brett Dobson (25 saves) to the far corner. A minute later the Rock doubled their lead when Dan Craig (2G, 5A) received a pass from Josh Dawick (3A) and his high to low shot went short side and it was 2 – 0 for the Rock. Toronto completed the first quarter scoring less than 30 seconds later when Tom Schreiber (4G, 4A) picked up his own rebound and his backhand shovel shot beat Dobson to the stick side increasing the lead to 3 – 0 at the end of the first quarter. The shots at the end of the first quarter were Toronto 11—Georgia 8.
Toronto started the scoring in the first minute of the second quarter. Schreiber went across the top and his sidearm shot on the run went to the bottom corner to make it 4 – 0 Rock. Stephen Keogh (2G, 2A) would continue the goal scoring for the Rock when he took a sidearm shot at the goal to beat the shot clock as it wound down and it went through the legs giving Toronto a five-goal lead. Georgia would finally stop the run after going 20 minutes without a goal. Andrew Kew (2G, 1A) came across the top and his overhand shot beat Nick Rose (1A, 38 saves) to the short side to make it 5 – 1 Toronto. Just past the 11 minute mark of the second, Shayne Jackson (1G, 3A) fired a shot from the outside and went five-hole cutting the lead to three at 5 – 2. The Rock would get that one back a couple of minutes later. Latrell Harris (1G) while in transition beat his defender to the inside and his twister shot beat Dobson through the wickets giving the Rock a 6 – 2 lead. Georgia would finish the scoring in the second. Lyle Thompson (3G, 2A) went around two defenders and beat Rose far side to make it 6 – 3 in favor of Toronto at the end of the first half. The shots at this time were Toronto 26—Georgia 21.
The Swarm opened the scoring in the second half while on the power play and Thompson took a low to low shot bottom corner and the Rock lead was down to two at 6 – 4. Toronto would respond just past the halfway mark of the third quarter to start a four-goal run. While on the power play Corey Small (3G, 6A) received a pass from Schreiber and beat Dobson with a bounce shot through the legs and the lead was back up to three 7 – 4 for the Rock. Then two minutes later Rogers, while in transition, got a step on his defender and dove across the crease and went far corner for his second of the game, 8 – 4 Rock. Toronto would keep the pressure on when Craig came out of the corner and fired a shot that went over the shoulder to make it 9 – 4. The Rock would end the quarter with Small firing a sidearm laser over the shoulder into the top corner and that made it 10 – 4 for Toronto ending Dobson’s night. Georgia put Craig Wende (10 saves) in for the rest of the game. At the end of the third quarter the shots were Toronto 40—Georgia 35.
The goal scoring run continued for the Rock in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Keogh took a high to low over hand shot beating Wende to the far bottom corner which made it 11 – 4. This was the first of five in a row for the hometown team. Two minutes later Schreiber beat his man down low, dove across the crease and went far side for his hat trick goal and it was 12 – 4. Zach Manns (2G, 2A) got onto the score sheet with a highlight goal. He was in front of the net and his BTB beat Wende through the legs to give the Rock a 13 – 4 lead. A minute and half later Small was on a give-and-go with Craig and he beat Wende glove side for his hat trick goal extending the lead to ten at 14 – 4. The Toronto run would end while shorthanded. Schreiber switched hands and his shot beat Wende through the legs for the ninth straight goal by Toronto to make it 15 – 4. Thirteen seconds later Georgia finally stopped the run while on the power play and Kew fired a low sidearm from the top that beat Rose to the stick side to make it 15 – 5 for Toronto. Almost 10 minutes into the fourth the Swarm were on a two man advantage; they had great ball movement and Jackson fed Thompson on the crease and his quick stick went to the short side making 15 – 6 Rock. Georgia was still on the power play and Bryan Cole (1G, 2A) took a shot from the top and beat Rose glove side and it was 15 – 7. With a healthy lead and little time on the ticker, Toronto put Troy Holochuk (2 saves) for the last five minutes of the game. Toronto ended the scoring in the fourth. Manns came from behind the net and his shot hit Wende in the shoulder, fell behind him and over the line to make the final score Toronto 16—Georgia 7.
Georgia Swarm—SOG 47; FO 9-28; Saves 35; Sv% .686; PP 4-4
Toronto Rock—SOG 51; FO 19-28; Saves 40; Sv% .851%; PP 1-3
The Three Stars of the game were:
- Corey Small – Toronto Rock: 3G, 6A
- Tom Schreiber – Toronto Rock: 4G, 4A
- Dan Craig – Toronto Rock: 2G, 5A
The Toronto Rock (8-2) have a bye week and will be back in action on Saturday March 4th, 2023, when they play host to the Rochester Knighthawks (7-2) in a battle at the top of the Eastern Conference, game time 7:00 p.m. EST. Fans in the USA can see the game on ESPN+. Fans in Canada can see the game on TSN.ca or the TSN app.
The Georgia Swarm (0-7) will play host to the Albany Firewolves (2-6) at Gas South Arena, in Duluth, GA on Saturday February 25th, 2023, game time 7:00 p.m. EST as they try and win their first game of the season. Fans in the USA can see the game on ESPN+. Fans in Canada can see the game on TSN.ca or the TSN app.
Shawn Palmer, Toronto Rock Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©