Rock Beat Buffalo 17-12
Buffalo, NY - The Toronto Rock (1-0) opened their season with a 17-12 win over the Buffalo Bandits (1-1) on Friday night in front of the usually rabid crowd at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY.
"Once the game settled down, we played the game we wanted," said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer after the win. "We'll feel good about ourselves tonight, enjoy the Christmas break and get back to work and get prepared for Friday. The goal is to get better every week."
Toronto did not start well and found themselves down 5-1 just over 11 minutes into the first quarter. Damon Edwards scored a shorthanded goal for the Rock to draw them to within two by the end of the opening 15 minutes.
The second quarter was all Toronto Rock, boosted by an opportunistic power play until that struck for two goals on a five-minute advantage. Rob Hellyer opened the second quarter scoring and the goal marked his 400th career point. Toronto outscored Buffalo 7-2 and held a 9-7 lead at halftime.
Buffalo closed the gap to one right away and it stayed a 9-8 game until Tom Schreiber scored his third goal of the game, just past the 11-minute mark. Challen Rogers scored his second goal of the game to put Toronto ahead 11-8 through three quarters.
The goals kept coming from the Rock in the fourth quarter as the Rock piled on. Brandon Slade scored his first NLL goal to make the score 12-9 and kept the Bandits at bay. Hellyer topped off the Rock scoring by sinking their 17th of the night.
Tom Schreiber scored 3 goals to lead the Rock snipers. Adam Jones, Johnny Powless, Kieran McArdle and Hellyer all scored twice. Toronto got singles from Billy Hostrawser, Dan Lintner, Edwards and Slade.
Nick Rose was stellar between the pipes for Toronto making 52 saves in the win. Matt Vinc and Zach Higgins split the goaltending duties in the loss for Buffalo.
"I felt pretty good overall and anytime you can put up over 50 saves and get a win in this league it feels pretty good," said Rose.
The Rock will return home next Friday night for their home opener against the Georgia Swarm at 7:30 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Arena.
2018-19 Toronto Rock Single Game, Season Tickets and Season Passes along with the new 4 Game Pack and 6 Ticket Flex Pack are on sale now. To purchase or for more information, please visit torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075.
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