April 21, 2013 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Toronto Rock
Toronto - It was one of the most intense final days of the NLL season in the league's 27-year history. As Saturday night's games played out, the playoff picture became clearer as each of the four games came to a conclusion. Over the course of a few hours, the Rock learned their first round opponent and it was determined just who would be the top seed and have home floor throughout the entire NLL playoffs.
Just before 10pm, the game between the Buffalo Bandits and the Rochester Knighthawks wrapped up with the Knighthawks hanging on for a 10-9 win in Buffalo. This meant the Bandits were out of the playoffs, and the Rock's first round opponent would come from the West Division as Minnesota would finish with a better record than Buffalo and Colorado would win a potential tie-breaker with those same Bandits regardless of the outcome of the Swarm-Mammoth head-to-head matchup already in progress.
Just over 20 minutes later, the Colorado Mammoth wrapped up the number four seed in the West Division by defeating the Minnesota Swarm 16-14. The result meant it would be the Swarm that were crossing over to become the number four seed in the East and face the Rock in the first round of the playoffs.
There was one more piece to the Rock playoff puzzle that needed to fall into place for the night to be complete. An Edmonton Rush loss to the Calgary Roughnecks would mean Toronto would clinch the number one overall playoff seed and home floor throughout the entire 2013 NLL Playoffs.
Just when it looked like the Rush were set to clinch the top seed with a victory, the Roughnecks scored a pair of goals late in regulation to force overtime in Edmonton as the two rivals were deadlocked at 11 through 60 minutes.
Sudden death overtime lasted a little over 10 minutes, but Shawn Evans put an end to that and scored at the 10:05 mark of the extra frame to give Calgary the win and by 11:30pm the Rock had clinched the number one overall playoff seed thanks to the Roughnecks.
The Rock and Swarm split two meetings this season as each team won at home. Both games finished with 13-12 scores, but Minnesota needed overtime to get their win.
For all the NLL first round playoff matchups and a full schedule, please visit NLL.com.
Single game and 3-game playoff packs are now on sale for the Rock's opening round playoff game against Minnesota on Sunday, April 28th at 3pm at Air Canada Centre. For the best ticket in town, visit www.torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.