Toronto Edges Philadelphia 10-9 in Preseason Finale
Oakville, ON - The Toronto Rock finished the preseason with a perfect 3-0 record following a 10-9 win over the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday night at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, ON.
"It was a good preseason. I don't think it was our best. It was a little sloppy but now starts the real season," said Rock veteran defender Brad Kri. "Every regular season game gets treated like a playoff game now, and we'll be ready for (the Wings) in a couple of weeks."
Nick Rose got the start for the Rock in goal, seeing his first minutes of the preseason. It wasn't the best start for Rose allowing two goals on the first two shots he faced, giving the Wings a 2-0 lead less than a minute into the opening quarter. However, from there on out Rose stopped the next 10 shots he faced in the first frame. Chris Boushy, Corey Small and Mitch de Snoo scored for the Rock to give Toronto a 3-2 lead after 15 minutes.
The Wings surged ahead just past the five-minute mark, scoring twice in 13 seconds to lead 4-3. That would be the end of their scoring in the first half. Josh Dawick scored to tie the game less than a minute after the Wings' go-ahead marker. The Rock's newest threat in transition, Justin Martin, scored for the third straight preseason game, showing great patience on the run and pulling the string on a short-side rip that beat Philadelphia starter Zach Higgins. That goal gave the Rock a 4-3 lead heading into halftime.
A back-and-forth third quarter saw the two teams combine for eight goals, but the Rock maintained their one-goal edge, carrying a 9-8 lead into the fourth quarter. The game wasn't without its physical moments. The Rock's Brad Kri and the Wings' Mitch Jones nearly came to blows late in the quarter. Both players received double minors for roughing. The NLL made the rule change for this season that those coincidental penalties go on the clock and teams will play 4-on-4 rather than remain 5-on-5 as was the case in previous seasons.
The visiting Wings were persistent on offence and their hard work paid off when Holden Cattoni scored to tie the game 9-9. The game wouldn't remain deadlocked for long, as Boushy completed his hat trick just over a minute later to give the Rock a 10-9 lead. Rose thwarted a last-second scoring attempt by the Wings to preserve the Rock win.
"It's always good to get a test and come out with a win," said Rock forward Dan Lintner of Saturday's win against the Wings who will be the Rock's opponents in two-week's time in their Home Opener. "They're always a tough team to play against, and it'll be a good game on the 9th. I think they had the majority of their guys out there, maybe a few guys here and there, but it's going to be a good game."
Several Rock veterans did not play in Saturday's game including Tom Schreiber, Dan Craig and Chris Corbeil.
With the preseason officially wrapped up, the Rock will now make their final roster decisions by the Monday at 3pm ET deadline. The Rock will need to trim down to 21 players on the Active Roster and a maximum of 4 players on the Practice Roster. Players can also be assigned to Inactive Lists, such as the Injured Reserve List and the Physically Unable to Perform List.
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