The Toronto Rock (7-3) have another all-Canadian match-up this Sunday afternoon when the Calgary Roughnecks (4-5) visit Scotiabank Arena for a 3 p.m. date. So far the Rock have played four games against Canadian teams and won three, putting them in first place in Alterna Cup standings.
The Rock are coming off a 9-8 win over the Saskatchewan Rush. The Rush led 6-2 at halftime but the Rock outscored them 7-2 in the second half for a come-from-behind win. Reid Reinholdt led with a hat trick and Johnny Powless scored twice while Nick Rose and the defense held down the back end with 40 saves.
The Rock haven’t been home since February 9th. Sunday is kid’s day where kids are free with the purchase of a regular ticket.
“It’s been awhile since we got to play at home,” Rock head coach Matt Sawyer said. “Calgary’s always a great match-up. We’re going to have our hands full. They were in the championship final for a reason and I’m sure they’ll be hungry. It’s an important game for them as well as us.”
Calgary’s last outing was less successful, a 13-12 home loss to the San Diego Seals that left fans and players alike with a sour taste in their mouth after a late controversial call that denied the Roughnecks the tying goal. Compounding matters was a broken nose sustained by Curtis Dickson in the last several seconds of play. Their 4-5 record isn’t where they want to be as the defending league champions.
“Toronto’s playing well right now. We have to find a way to play a full 60 minutes. We’re having good spurts here and there but we’re not playing well enough to win and that’s something we have to figure out,” Dickson said.
Last week against San Diego, Dane Dobbie scored seven goals. Four years ago in Toronto, Dickson scored six including this crazy between the legs goal. Games between the two are always high scoring – in the last five years, seven of nine games featured both teams scoring over 10 goals and six games featured at least one team scoring over 15. Calgary has won four and Toronto five.
Dickson, Dobbie and Rob Hellyer have been the most consistent forwards over the years. In fact, Hellyer is the only current forward on the Rock who was also around in 2015, although he did miss some games to injury in that time span. He did have a seven-goal game in 2016 vs. the Roughnecks. In their nine previous matchups, Dickson has scored 30 goals and 22 assists, Dobbie 16 goals and 19 assists and Hellyer 18 goals and 22 assists.
The Rock haven’t faced Roughnecks’ goalie Christian Del Bianco very often. He played in relief of Frankie Scigliano a few times before taking the reins for the first time against the Rock in a 2018 16-8 win. He also beat them last season 15-9.
“He’s very active and very agile so it’ll be challenging if he gets hot,” Rock forward Dan Craig said. “Then you have their two premiere scorers on the front end. Those two guys have been putting up a lot of points. But we have one of the best defenses in the league to combat that.”
This will be the Rock’s second Sunday matinee at home this season; they won 13-9 over Buffalo last month so they’ll be looking to keep that streak alive. Whichever team wins, it’ll be another exciting, tightly-contested game between two Canadian rivals. Catch the action on BR Live.