Bruce Codd and Todd Richard led the way with hat tricks, and goalie Curtis Palidwor made 58 saves to help the Montreal Express surprise the Toronto Rock 15-9 Friday in front of 9,339 at the Molson Centre.
The loss snapped a seven-game Toronto winning streak, and kept the Rock from clinching first place in the NLL North.
Richard and Toronto's Mike Murray traded goals within the first 2:14 of the game, but the rest of the opening stanza was all Express. Codd's first tally, at 2:31, started a four-goal run completed by Tracey Kelusky (7:22), Codd (8:54) and Steve Penney (9:57)that left Montreal up 5-1 at the first intermission.
The Express padded their lead by one goal in the second, outscoring Toronto 4-3, and put the game away in the third with unanswered tallies by Bruce Alexander, Ted Dowling and Jason Crosbie to make the score 12-4.
The Rock picked up some ground over the final 15 minutes, with a pair of goals by Dan Stroup and single tallies by Steve Toll, Darryl Gibson and Sandy Chapman in the final minute. However, the Express came up with three goals of their own, by Richard, Brad MacArthur and Crosbie, to keep a comfortable lead.
Ten different players scored for the Express. Richard, Codd and Crosbie were the only Montreal players to post multiple goals. Dowling, Travis Kilgour and Alexander each collected two assists.
Stroup scored three for Toronto, and Toll recorded two goals and two assists.