The Toronto Rocks Killed Two Birds With One Stone

TOsports.caCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2009

It’s hardly an understatement to say that the Toronto Rock game was over by five minutes into the second quarter.

But three penalties in five minutes, and down two men for two of those minutes, is a situation that decides most games.

“That was huge, that was the real turning point for us in this game,” Rock goalie Bob Watson said. “We kind of threw a couple different looks at them, kept them guessing, and we just seemed to stay one step ahead of them.

For those five minutes the visiting Knighthawks didn’t score a goal. Quite the opposite as the Toronto Rock’s Rob Marshall and Bill McGlone added shorthanded goals of their own.

The Toronto Rock managed their first win against the Rochester Knighthawks this season, and their first consecutive wins of the season, with a 16 – 10 manhandling of Rochester on March 21 at the Air Canada Centre.

“I think it has to be three before it’s a streak, we’re not quite there yet,” Batley said. “But hey we got a big weekend coming up.”

In a game that showcased two of the NLL’s all time best goalies it was hardly a low scoring affair.

In fact Knighthawks goalie Pat O’Toole looked shaky and never got comfortable, allowing 15 of the 16, the 16th was an empty netter. He was replaced with two minutes to play by backup Ben VanEvery, far too late in the game for the grizzled veteran.

The offensive explosion came from numerous Rock sources, five goals from Lewis Ratcliff and three goals and three assists from Luke Wiles. Craig Conn and McGlone each chipped in two while Marshall, Nick Carson, Peter Lough, Stephen Hoar had a goal each of their own.

“All in all this would have to be our best 60 minutes,” Batley said.

While Jason Henhawk scored 3 goals and had two assists, and Shawn Williams had 6 assists and seven points to put up the fight for the Knighthawks.

Since Batley took over as head coach the flow of the offence has changed significantly. This can be seen in the changing role of Jason Crosbie, who has 371 career goals as a Toronto Rock. Since Batley took over he has had 5 goals in 8 games.

“We’ve got shooters on this team that can shoot the ball, we don’t need more of those guys,” Crosbie said. “So, you know, just (I’ll) be the secondary scoring option.”

Any game between the Knighthawks and Rock would be incomplete without a fight. It took 58 minutes but finally the Rock’s Scott Campbell and Troy Bonterre dropped the gloves.

Bonterre won handily, at 6’3 he’s got a bigger reach, than Campbell’s 6’0, and after three haymakers to the melon Campbell turtled and the referees stepped in.

The win gives the Rock a faint chance of a playoff spot. With five games left on the schedule winning out the season would give them nine on the season.

“We know as a team that every game is a must win to get in the playoffs,” Batley said.