March 17, 2017 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Toronto Rock
Toronto, ON - The Colorado Mammoth (7-6) kept the Toronto Rock (6-5) at an arm's length for most of the night, en route to a 14-11 win on Friday night at Air Canada Centre. Colorado netminder Dillon Ward made 44 saves on 55 Rock shots to earn the win for the visitors.
"You need to find a way to get some results when you're talking about adversity and learning experiences," said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer after losing another close game at home. "It's easy to play when everything is clicking, but the true test of character is being able to find your game when things are a little bit off."
Brett Hickey opened the scoring at 2:10 but Colorado took a quick 2-1 lead with goals from Jacob Ruest and Callum Crawford. Kasey Beirnes tied the game at two, but three straight goals from the Mammoth gave them back a 5-2 lead. Reid Reinholdt scored for the Rock at 5:09 of the second quarter. Stephan Leblanc scored a pair on either side of visitor's tally from Chris Wardle. Beirnes scored his second of the game to tie things at six. Ilia Gajic and Steven Keogh scored late in the half for the Mammoth. Leblanc's hat trick goal got the Rock to within one at 8-7 before the break.
The teams traded goals in the third. Gajic scored his second before Damon Edwards picked up a transition marker. Jacob Ruest then scored before Tom Schreiber blasted the ball past Dillon Ward making the score 10-9 after three quarters.
The trend continued in the fourth quarter. Keogh, Beirnes and Crawford all scored before Phil Caputo, playing defense in place of Bradley Kri, scored an unassisted transition goal that brought the ACC patrons to their feet. Jordan Gilles killed any Rock momentum with a goal at 6:01. The Rock pulled Nick Rose with two minutes to go in favour of an extra attacker. The Mammoth hit two posts in a row on the empty net, but Joey Cupido found the empty net on their third attempt to seal the win.
Toronto will begin the busiest stretch of their season, playing four games in ten days. The first of which is next Friday night in Georgia against the East leading Swarm. One night later on Saturday, March 25, the Rock will host the Vancouver Stealth on Canadian Lacrosse Night, presented by Tim Hortons, at Air Canada Centre. For tickets, please call 416-596-3075 or visit torontorock.com.