Rocked: Toronto Blows Away Philadelphia
by Megan Robinson | NLL.com
The Toronto Rock (4-1) played host to the Philadelphia Wings (1-4) to begin their first home-and-away weekend with a win on Friday at the Air Canada Centre. The Rock offense pushed past the Wings for a 19-11 win in front of 10,256 lacrosse fans.
Toronto Rock head coach Troy Cordingley commented after the game on what made the team successful in their play against Philadelphia.
"We played with a little bit more determination to succeed," said Cordingley of his team who have scored a total of 69 goals in five games. "Overall, we're pleased".
The Wings drew blood first opening the scoring with two goals just over a minute out of the gate but minutes later, the Rock fired back with a goal at 3:06 from rookie forward, Stephen Leblanc, his first of three goals in the win.
It was a big night on the whole for the Toronto offense, who scored 11 of 19 goals in the first half of the game. The Rock outshot the Wings 36-16 in the first half and went on to lead in shots with 58 versus the Wings' 44.
Rock Captain Colin Doyle, added a total of seven points to the win, with three goals and four assists. Doyle is working towards 1,000 regular season career points in the NLL.
"It's pretty incredible," said Cordingley after the win Friday. "He's one of the best who have ever played this game in the league and that's why he's at 998 points and two away from one thousand".
Doyle will be only the third player in NLL history to reach this milestone, behind league Veterans John Tavares and Gary Gait.
Veteran lacrosse player Kim Squire made his 2010 return to the NLL Friday and made his presence known. Squire, a forward from Six Nations, Ontario, last played in the NLL in 2006 with the Bandits and signed as a free agent with the Toronto Rock for the 2010 Season.
"I never thought I'd be back in Toronto," said Squire, who won four championships with the Toronto Rock along with Rock Captain, Colin Doyle. "This is the last place I thought I'd have a chance at but I thank Colin for that and he trusts me to step up."
Squire recorded two goals and one assist Friday. Kasey Beirnes lead the Rock scoring with four goals and two assists against Wings netminder, Rob Blasdell. Additionally, Rock forwards Blaine Manning, Garrett Billings, and Stephen Leblanc added three goals each to the Rock's success.
On the defensive end, Toronto Rock veteran goaltender Bob Watson and current NLL Player of the Month had a rough start to the game but found strength quickly, late in the first quarter. Watson denied 33 shots on goal from the Wings offense in the entirety of the game and scored his first assist of the season.
Wings forward Kyle Sweeney and defenseman Dan Teat lead the scoring for Philadelphia with two goals a piece in the loss.
In addition, rookie forward Max Siebald, last years Tewaarton Trophy winner, made his NLL debut for the Wings tonight. He recorded three loose balls in his time on the floor.
The Rock, who have defied all expectations by starting their rebuilding season 4-1, look to continue the season improving every week. Coach Cordingley works weekly on improving skill and winning small, but crucial victories as a team.
"We have a lot of confidence in our guys," said Cordingley of his roster. "We're early [in the season] but we're happy where we're at right now."
With no time to rest between games this weekend, the Toronto Rock look to test their forward momentum as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bandits Saturday at HSBC Arena. Game time is 7:30pm Eastern and fans can watch the game live on NLL.com.
The Wings return to action on Saturday, February 13 when they host the Buffalo Bandits. The Wings' home game with Orlando that was scheduled for February 6 was postponed because of the snowstorm that is hitting the Philadelphia area this weekend.
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