Defensively, the Rock set the tone of the game from the start, containing the Knighthawks' veteran offensive players. The system the Rock coaching staff has referred to since the beginning came out strong Saturday, making scoring chances next to impossible for the Knighthawks.
Toronto Rock Captain Colin Doyle, who scored one goal and recorded six assists in the win, was happy with the way the system was executed.
"They made it so hard for them to do anything they wanted to do and I think they frustrated them to a point where they just started doing things that are uncharacteristic of them," said Doyle of the Knighthawks, who had scored a combined total of 23 goals in their previous two games.
Offensively, the Rock out shot the Knighthawks 17-3 in the first quarter alone and continued to lead in shots with a total of 56 in the game versus Rochester's 47.
Toronto defenseman Cam Woods opened the scoring for the Rock with a goal at 1:39 in the first quarter but it was Rock rookie Garrett Billings who had a big game for the team, scoring five goals and three assists in the win.
Billings, who was drafted sixth overall by Toronto, has scored 11 goals so far this season for the Rock and is already one of the top goal scorers in the league.
Toronto Rock Head Coach Troy Cordingley is nothing but pleased with the way Billings has come out to play in every game for the team.
"He's the guy that we wanted," said Cordingley of Billings. "I mean his shot is accurate, he sees the floor well and he's doing a great job for us."
Rock forward Kasey Beirnes had three goals and Mike Hominuck had two against Knighthawks goaltender Pat O'Toole. Forwards Blaine Manning and rookie Stephen Leblanc also added one goal each. Defensemen Woods, Jeff Gilbert, Mike Hobbins and Pat McCready all recorded their first goals of the season.
Bob Watson displayed, once again, his irreplaceable talent between the pipes tonight, denying 44 shots from the Rochester offense.
The Toronto Rock have missed the playoffs for the past two consecutive season and with Doyle's return to the roster, the team is ready to continue this winning streak after Saturday's win over Rochester.
"It was certainly not the game we expected," said Doyle. "We believe we can play in here and I think sooner or later people will stop taking us for granted."
If any motivation was needed tonight, the Toronto Rock were informed of another great reason to score goals before the game.
The horrific events in Haiti recently inspired Toronto Rock Owner Jamie Dawick to take the floor before the game to share news with the fans at the Air Canada Centre. For every Rock goal scored Saturday, Dawick would donate $1,000 to the Haiti Relief Fund through World Vision.
"You realize what a disaster it is there and we just want to do our part and I'm thrilled they scored 17 goals," said an excited Dawick after the win. With a 17-3 victory, Dawick will be donating a total of $17,000 to the fund.
The Toronto Rock dominated the first of three meetings with the Rochester Knighthawks Saturday and will travel to Rochester to take on the Knighthawks at home next Saturday, January 30 at The Blue Cross Arena.