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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
FINAL
Philadelphia
8
Halifax
18
Sat, Dec 3
17:00:00
Vancouver
Toronto
Sat, Dec 3
19:30:00
San Diego
New York
Sat, Dec 3
19:30:00
Albany
Buffalo
Sat, Dec 3
20:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
Sat, Dec 3
20:30:00
Colorado
Saskatchewan
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Sat, Dec 10
19:00:00
Toronto
Rochester
Sat, Dec 10
21:30:00
Vancouver
Calgary
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Fri, Dec 16
22:30:00
Panther City
Las Vegas
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Rochester
Albany
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Georgia
Sat, Dec 17
19:30:00
Halifax
New York
Sat, Dec 17
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Dec 30
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Dec 31
21:00:00
Panther City
Saskatchewan
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
22:30:00
Philadelphia
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Panther City
Rochester
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Halifax
Albany
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Buffalo
Georgia
Sat, Jan 7
19:30:00
Toronto
New York
Sat, Jan 7
22:00:00
Vancouver
San Diego
Sun, Jan 8
0:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
18:30:00
Albany
Halifax
Fri, Jan 13
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Colorado
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Halifax
Toronto
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Panther City
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 14
19:30:00
Georgia
Buffalo
Sat, Jan 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Jan 14
22:00:00
Las Vegas
Vancouver
Sun, Jan 15
15:00:00
Rochester
New York
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
19:30:00
Buffalo
Rochester
Fri, Jan 20
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
New York
Albany
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
18:00:00
Rochester
Halifax
Fri, Jan 27
19:00:00
Buffalo
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 28
19:30:00
Buffalo
New York
Sat, Jan 28
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Saskatchewan
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
Toronto
Calgary
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Jan 28
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
21:00:00
Georgia
Colorado
Sat, Feb 4
18:00:00
Calgary
Halifax
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
New York
Toronto
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
Albany
Philadelphia
Sat, Feb 4
19:30:00
Rochester
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Panther City
San Diego
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 4
22:30:00
Colorado
Las Vegas
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
19:30:00
Toronto
Georgia
Fri, Feb 10
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Sat, Feb 11
19:00:00
Halifax
Rochester
Sat, Feb 11
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Feb 11
20:00:00
Vancouver
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
21:00:00
Colorado
Calgary
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Georgia
Toronto
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Las Vegas
Albany
Sat, Feb 18
19:30:00
Philadelphia
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 18
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
13:00:00
New York
Halifax
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
21:00:00
Panther City
Colorado
Fri, Feb 24
22:30:00
Calgary
Las Vegas
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
New York
Rochester
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
Albany
Georgia
Sat, Feb 25
20:00:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
18:30:00
Buffalo
Halifax
Fri, Mar 3
21:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sat, Mar 4
11:30:00
New York
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Rochester
Toronto
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Mar 4
20:00:00
Saskatchewan
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Mar 10
21:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
Sat, Mar 11
19:00:00
Albany
Toronto
Sat, Mar 11
19:30:00
Philadelphia
New York
Sat, Mar 11
20:30:00
San Diego
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 11
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sun, Mar 12
16:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Fri, Mar 17
22:00:00
San Diego
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 18
11:00:00
Georgia
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 18
18:00:00
Toronto
Halifax
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Colorado
Buffalo
Sat, Mar 18
20:00:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
20:30:00
San Diego
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Toronto
Albany
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Halifax
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 25
19:30:00
Georgia
New York
Sat, Mar 25
21:30:00
Calgary
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Buffalo
San Diego
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Colorado
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 25
22:30:00
Rochester
Las Vegas
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
20:00:00
New York
Georgia
Fri, Mar 31
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Colorado
Fri, Mar 31
22:00:00
Calgary
San Diego
Sat, Apr 1
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Apr 1
20:00:00
Albany
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
21:30:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
Sun, Apr 2
13:00:00
Georgia
Halifax
Sun, Apr 2
18:00:00
Rochester
Philadelphia
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Albany
Rochester
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Saskatchewan
Georgia
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Panther City
Calgary
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Vancouver
Colorado
Sat, Apr 8
22:30:00
San Diego
Las Vegas
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Calgary
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Toronto
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Apr 15
19:30:00
New York
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 15
21:30:00
Halifax
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 15
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
20:30:00
Calgary
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
18:00:00
New York
Halifax
Sat, Apr 22
19:00:00
Georgia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 22
20:00:00
Toronto
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 22
21:30:00
Colorado
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 22
22:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sun, Apr 23
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Albany
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Buffalo
Albany
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Halifax
Georgia
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
Colorado
San Diego
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
New York
Vancouver
Sat, Apr 29
22:30:00
Saskatchewan
Las Vegas
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Game RecapsNewsPlayoffsStories/Op-Ed

Rock Hold on to Beat Thunderbirds in Overtime

With Rob Hellyer returning to the Toronto Rock’s offense on Friday night, captain Challen Rogers was moved back to defense. Rogers’ best play of the night, however, was an offensive one – the game winning goal in overtime. Rogers scooped up a loose ball, ran the length of the floor, and took a shot on his off side to give the Rock the 14-13 win over the Halifax Thunderbirds.

The Rock now await the winner of the Albany FireWolves and Buffalo Bandits game for their East Conference Final opponent, while the Thunderbirds season has concluded.

Hellyer returned to the lineup after missing most of April on the IR. He scored twice and added three assists in his return.

“If Robby wasn’t playing tonight, Challen wouldn’t have been playing offense,” Rock head coach Matt Sawyer stated after the game. “I’m glad he had that moment. Challen is far and away the best all-around player in the game of lacrosse… I’m not pumping his tires; that’s a fact. To have someone as good as he is, be able to do what he does offensively, there hasn’t, to this point, been a player like him.”

Headed into Friday night’s contest at FirstOntario Centre, the two teams were evenly matched. Just two wins separated their regular season records, but the Rock had the fortune to be hot at the right time, while Halifax struggled in the second half of the season.

The Rock took it to Halifax early and often in the first quarter, building up a 5-1 lead to avenge their goaltender Nick Rose, victim of an early game hit from Jake Withers while Rose was out of his net. Oh, Rose was absolutely fine. But the message was clear: touch our goaltender and you’ll pay. The collision led to a scrum at the benches, and Latrell Harris was sent off for a body check while Halifax was hit with an illegal substitution penalty.

Tom Schreiber scored during four-on-four play, and the 7,241 fans in attendance went nuts with that first goal. Rose then proved he hadn’t been rattled a bit by Withers’ hit, stopping Tyson Bell on a fast break. Zach Manns’ crease dive put Toronto up 2-0, then less than a minute later, Latrell Harris fought off Chris Boushy, out-ran Eric Fannell, and flipped the ball downwards and in as he approached the net. Schreiber’s second goal put Toronto up 4-0. Mitch de Snoo’s three-on-two transition goal chased Halifax starter Warren Hill in favour of Aaron Bold. Hill’s night was over; he made 10 saves on 15 shots.

“I said to the guys at the start, we’re going to see both of them. I didn’t realize it would be like that,” Sawyer said. “We prepared more for [Hill] because he started every but one game for them. For Bold to come in cold off the bench and play how he did, that’s a credit to him. He’s been a really good goalie in this league.”

Bold’s entrance briefly sparked the Thunderbirds, as Fannell scored on a long shot from near the restraining line to get Halifax on the board.

After the second quarter started, the energy fell off a little in the arena as both players and fans settled into a regular routine. There was less nervousness; the pace was less frenetic as the business of lacrosse took over.

Hellyer put Toronto up 6-1 at the 6:21 mark, but Withers won the faceoff and passed to Ryan Terefenko, who got Halifax’s second goal with an overhand shot. After that exciting 10 seconds, the pace slowed down again until a Toronto power play, in which Rogers slyly passed the ball behind his back to Dan Dawson who dove over the crease for a goal.

Rogers may have been back on D in this game but he was still the quarterback of the first power play unit and their short-man unit. He’s lucky he never gets confused with all the switching around he does.

“Throughout the week I expect to play [everywhere],” he said. “I’ve been getting used to it throughout the year. Our coaching staff does an unbelievable job, helping me prepare to play up front or out the back door. [The rest of the team] supporting me is a huge help in that as well.”

Austin Shanks beat Rose with a bullet 54 seconds later. He nearly scored again on the next possession, but de Snoo got hold of the ball instead and beat Bold on a fast break for his second goal of the game. Dan Craig scored just over a minute later getting past Colton Armstrong with a backdoor cut.

Toronto held a large 9-3 advantage at halftime.

“We should have had that game over and done with, with a 9-3 lead,” Sawyer said. “It’s funny, or ironic I guess, that we’ve been a second half team. It’s all about our slow starts. Guys are so good in the third and fourth. But you never know what you’ll get each night. This was the total opposite here tonight.”

You saw the score at the beginning of this story, so you know that Halifax made a major comeback. It started early in the third.

Withers lost the opening faceoff but recovered the ball in his own end and just ran right past everyone to beat Rose. Halifax then scored on two consecutive power plays, with Schreiber and Dan Craig both in the box – more irony, considering they were two of Toronto’s least penalized players during the regular season with just two minor penalties each. Cody Jamieson and Shanks got the goals for the Thunderbirds. Stephen Keogh then scored Halifax’s fourth straight goal which closed the gap to 9-7. It briefly brought the boo birds out in Hamilton.

Hellyer got the Rock back on track, throwing fakes every which way before beating Bold. Tyson Bell replied, accepting a pass from Terefenko and scoring on the fast break. Toronto was able to cap the period with a pair of goals; Manns and Dawson each scored their second of the game to put Toronto up 12-8.

But like the third, Halifax came out on fire in the fourth, this time scoring five in a row, and they did it in five-and-a-half minutes. Suddenly they led 13-12. Captain Cody Jamieson beat Rose stick side; Brad Gillies got around Manns with a face dodge to get to the net; and Clarke Petterson scored through traffic.

Keogh then tied it with an overhand shot. Fifteen seconds later Dawson Theede’s overhand gave the Thunderbirds the lead.

“They were putting us in positions where we had to think about what we were doing and that’s when we were on our heels a little bit,” Rogers explained. “You look at Shanks and Petterson and Jamieson up there; they had a few snipes just shooting around bodies and making shots harder for Rosey to see.”

Schreiber’s hat trick goal halfway through the quarter knotted the game back up 13-13. Neither team was able to score again, although they both tried their hardest. Halifax was stoned by Rose with 1:56 to go as he first stopped Terefenko, and then Colton Armstrong with the rebound, in transition. Rose came up big again in the dying seconds with another pair of saves, seeing Petterson’s shot through traffic AND then stopping rebound that Stephen Keogh picked up point blank. The buzzer went with Halifax still pressing, and the ball went in the goal a split second too late.

“When neither of our units are going well, Rosey just finds ways to pull out wins for us,” said Rogers. “I wouldn’t say it was our best effort on defense. There were a lot of mistakes and a lot of things we can learn from. You look at the last five shots or so that Rosey faced in that fourth quarter. Three quarters of the net was wide open and he found a way to make the saves and keep us in it.”

Rogers intercepted a big rebound in his own end, and with Josh Jubenville running interference on Fannell, was left all alone to face Bold.

It was a pretty epic sports moment, and if the Rock go on to win again, and perhaps again after that, this particular goal will always be included in the stories that are told of the season.

“I’ve shot on Bold throughout my career, so I had an idea what I wanted to do,” Rogers said. “I thought he would extend a little bit if I was just looking and making it look like I was going to shoot short side.”

Most players that the other team identified as threats were effective in the game, but each side was able to control the pace enough to give themselves a chance. Jamieson, Shanks and Keogh all had a pair of goals for Halifax, though Chris Boushy was limited to one assist. Schreiber got three for Toronto, and Manns and Dawson each two. Schreiber led everyone with 15 shots. Withers led Halifax with 13 loose balls and Rogers has 12 for Toronto. Withers won 21 of 31 faceoffs in the game. Bold finished with 32 saves, and Rose with 41.

“We were pretty aggressive. We weren’t really standing on our heels, we were going forward and playing on our toes and that made it harder for them,” Rogers said. “Obviously in the second half they were doing that to us. Credit to them, they could have bowed out and called it quits, but they fought back. I’m just glad we have Rosey to make those big saves at the end and finish it.”

The roar of the crowd certainly made a difference, he said.

“We may have had more people in attendance in previous games but you wouldn’t know that from the sheer excitement and noise our crowd brought. Before overtime started, that might be the loudest I’ve ever heard our [fans]. To get a win in such an exciting fashion, was a special moment.”

FirstOntario Centre will host another playoff game, and the Rock’s opponent will be known by Saturday night. Stay tuned to the NLL’s social channels and NLL.com for the up to date schedule.

NLL