Great goaltending, dynamic defense and superior scoring were the difference in the Toronto Rock’s (2-6) 17-6 win over the Rochester Knighthawks (3-4) on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre on Canadian Night in front of over 10,000 fans.
“As I’ve said before, it’s a big hole and it would be nice to have a couple more wins on that side of the ledger, but that’s as consistent of a game as we’ve played,” said Rock head coach John Lovell. “That’s what we’ve been looking for, just a consistent effort.”
The Rock came out of the gate looking like world-beaters, building a 7-1 lead after the opening 15 minutes. Josh Sanderson scored a pair and seems to have been the spark the offence was looking for, as the forward group has been producing very well over the last three games with the veteran in the lineup.
Kasey Beirnes was doing his part as well, burying 4 goals before the half was over. Toronto’s lead at the half was 11-2 and they were showing no signs of slowing down. While the offence was a big story, so was the goaltending of Nick Rose in the Toronto net, making 29 saves on 31 shots on goal.
The offence cooled off a little in the third quarter, but Kasey Beirnes didn’t, adding his fifth goal of the game. Toronto stretched their lead to 10 goals after three quarters, leading 13-3, heading for home.
The Rock offence got oiled up again in fourth quarter, scoring four more times en route to the win. Beirnes ‘rocked the six’ on his own with another tally, his sixth of the game, in the final quarter.
Rock goal scorers were Beirnes with a sock-trick (6 goals) and Hellyer, Leblanc and Sanderson each had hat-tricks. Singles came from Colin Doyle and Dan Lintner. Overall, the point parade was led by Hellyer who added 8 assists to his 3 goals for an 11-point game, his third 10-plus point game of the season.
“It’s not what I expected tonight to be honest,” explained Beirnes of his 6-goal performance. “I was struggling to hit the net this morning in shoot around but when luck is on your side, it’s amazing what happens.”
Three Stars of the Game:
1) Nick Rose
2) Kasey Beirnes
3) Stephan Leblanc
Story by TorontoRock.com. Photo by Graig Abel.