December 18, 2017 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Toronto Rock
Toronto, ON - The Saskatchewan Rush (1-0) defeated the Toronto Rock (0-2) by a score of 17-9 on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. The loss is the second straight to begin the season for the Rock after losing their season opener last Friday night in Buffalo.
"We weren't good enough to play against a team like that and get a win," said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. "We need to get better as individuals and we need everyone to be performing at their best and right now we're not. It's not a happy room, it's not a happy time right now. Ultimately, this is the group and we're going to pull ourselves out of it. We have two choices, you can be honest with yourself and strive to get better, or you can think everything is okay, which it isn't right now."
Toronto found themselves in a hole early on and were never able to recover. Down 2-0, the Rock did show some fight early on, battling back to tie the score 2-2. The visiting Rush outscored the Rock 3-1 over the remainder of the quarter to lead 5-3.
Saskatchewan again came out firing to begin the second quarter with a pair of goals to build a 7-3 lead. Rob Hellyer scored for the Rock to make the score 7-4, but the Rock could get no closer before the half with the teams exchanging a pair of goals each. Evan Kirk was stellar between the pipes for the visitors as they led 9-6 at halftime.
The second half didn't start any better for Toronto, surrendering a goal on Saskatchewan's first possession of the third quarter. The Rush scored four times in the quarter to Toronto's pair and led 13-8 at the end of three.
The Rush did not stop piling it on over the final fifteen minutes, leading 16-8 just past the midway point of the frame. Each team scored once more, making the final 17-9 Saskatchewan.
Nick Rose started in goal for Toronto, but lasted just 22:30, giving up 9 goals on 24 shots. In relief, Brandon Miller made 25 saves on 33 shots, allowing 8 goals over 37:30 of work.
Brett Hickey scored a first half hat-trick to lead the Rock scoring attack. He finished the night with three goals and one assist. Hellyer and Adam Jones matched his four points, each scoring a goal and adding three helpers. Other goals came from Stephan Leblanc, Damon Edwards and Reid Reinholdt who all had singles.
The Rock will now have a break for Christmas and return to action at home on Saturday, December 30th against the Buffalo Bandits at Air Canada Centre. Toronto Rock season and single game tickets are on sale now. For more information, please visit torontorock.com/tickets or call 416-596-3075.