In a game in which the first quarter score resembled that of a soccer match,
the final score told a different story, as the visiting Toronto Rock beat
the Ottawa Rebel by a score of 15-6 in NLL action Thursday night.
The score was 1-0 in favour of the Rebel after the first quarter thanks to
great Rebel defense and strong play by starting goaltender Andrew Leyshon.
The Rock's offence came to life in the second period but Ottawa was still
close as they were down 4-3 with 4:38 left in the first half. But goals from
Colin Doyle and Rock Captain Jim Veltman, who scored as time expired, to
close the half and Patrick Merrill's goal to open the second half created a
margin the Rebel couldn't overcome.
Doyle turned in a star performance for Toronto with three goals and five
assists to lead both teams, while Veltman turned in a five point night with
two goals and three assists.
Brandon Sanderson's performance was a bright spot for the Rebel: playing in
only his second game of the season, he scored his first two goals of the
season, one of which was a beautiful goal from the right side of the crease.
Kevin Howard, Ryan Painter, Jamie Roy and rookie Kevin Dostie each popped in
one goal for Ottawa.
Painter, the Rebel's leading scorer last season, was playing in his first
game of the season after recovering from injuries sustained in an off-season
Special teams were one of several keys to victory for Toronto, as they went
3-5 with the man advantage, while also scoring two short-handed goals during
Ottawa's nine power play opportunities.
Goaltender Bob Watson got the win in front of 2,794 fans at the Civic
Centre, while Leyshon took the loss. Matt Disher replaced Leyshon in the
third quarter and despite turning away nine of the 11 shots he faced, Watson
turned away everything the Rebel threw at him after Disher came into the
The two teams, both of which had equal 2-2 records going into the game, will
meet again in Toronto on Friday, February 7th for a rematch at the Air Canada Centre.