- « Can the Rock avoid ‘The Big 3′ in Boston?
- East vs West- Toronto & Calgary battle for top spot in NLL »
We are back to a log jam in the East Division with the Blazers holding on for a wild finish and a 9-7 win in Boston. Toronto head coach Troy Cordingley described his squad’s first half performance as “sluggish” and found the Rock down 6-2 at halftime.
In the Wednesday weekly NLL coaches call Cordingley recognized the obvious in that they had to contain ‘The Big 3′ as well as the booming shot of Kevin Buchanan. Unfortunately for Rock fans the club could do neither. Dan Dawson, Casey Powell, and Josh Sanderson combined for 13 points, with Dawson leading the way with 3G, 2A. Buchanan could not be held in check either as he fired in 3 goals on 5 shots. Blazers goaltender Anthony Cosmo also stepped up his play as he came up with some clutch saves when Toronto was surging late.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Rock as Garrett Billings made his return from injury felt in a huge way. Billings scored a hat trick, was the only multi goal scorer for the team, and ended the evening with 4 points total. Rookie Aaron Pascas continues to show that he is a bright light for the future by popping a goal past Cosmo and Stephan Leblanc posted a solid 1G, 3A performance.
Toronto went 2 for 5 on the powerplay, however, I noticed that the Rock were quite often trying to develop the perfect play. There were far too many passes down low and trick play attempts where a quick give-and-go would have been more effective. Rock passing lacked the usual crispness, which resulted in sloppy tosses and costly turnovers during high potential scoring opportunities. This will surely be addressed in practice as Toronto turned on the heat too little too late on the Blazers.
Toronto now lead the East by a slim 1/2 game and only 1 game separates first from last. The Rock look to get back to their winning ways this Saturday Feb. 12 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto versus the West Division leading Calgary Roughnecks. Game time 7:30 and I’ll have the call on the NLL Network.
Scores from around the National Lacrosse League:
Friday Feb. 4: – The Buffalo Bandits get back in the win column at home 15-12 over Minnesota
Saturday Feb. 5: – The Knighthawks soared over the Philadelphia Wings 11-6 in Rochester
- Defending NLL champion Washington Stealth snuck out a tight 10-8 road victory versus Colorado
**Make sure to send in your tweets on the Toronto Rock or the NLL in general to me @AndyMc81 as the top 3 “Rock Tweets of the Week” will make it into next week’s blog.**
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @: http://twitter.com/AndyMc81, keep an eye on the “Inside The Rock” blog, and visit NLL.com for all the latest Toronto Rock and National Lacrosse League action.
Andy McNamara is a sports broadcaster for the Toronto Rock lacrosse on the NLL Network, along with collegiate and minor league hockey, baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, and OCW pro-wrestling across the GTA on Rogers TV, Cogeco, and Durham College/UOIT.