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Stories/Op-Ed

Rose Gold: Rock Edges Bandits 14-12 For First Win

The Toronto Rock (1-6) threw the monkey off its back with a 14-12 win over the Buffalo Bandits (4-3) on Friday night at Air Canada Centre.  Rock goaltender Nick Rose made 38 saves on 50 shots, earned the game’s first star and even scored an empty net goal to help Toronto earn their first win of the season.

“One and six never felt so good,” expressed Rose to the fans during his on-floor post-game interview.  The Rock faithful gave Rose a standing ovation and chanted his name as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

Toronto’s offence struggled to find the mark in the first quarter despite several opportunities with the man advantage.  The Rock were successful in challenging a goal, leaving the Bandits lead at just 2-0 after one quarter.

The Rock struck early and often in the second quarter and scored four consecutive goals to build a 4-2 lead.  Buffalo wasted little time rattling off four goals of their own to regain the lead, 6-4.  Toronto got a late goal to draw back to within one, down 6-5 at the half. 

Toronto’s power play struggled and was just 1 for 8 in the first half, however Buffalo wasn’t much better with the man advantage going 2 for 6.

After trading goals early in the second half, Rock rookie Dan Lintner scored a pair of goals, giving Toronto an 8-7 lead.  Not to be outdone, Buffalo scored twice, the goals coming just 9 seconds apart, to once again jump out in front.  Rob Hellyer scored 26 seconds later to tie the game 9-9.

After falling behind 11-10, the Rock scored four consecutive, capped off by the empty net goal from Rose that brought the crowd to their feet.  Buffalo added a late goal from Kedoh Hill.

“You have to win one before you can win two,” said Rock head coach John Lovell.  “We haven’t lost faith, we haven’t lost belief, there’s no quit.”

Three Stars of the Game:

1) Nick Rose
2) Rob Hellyer
3) Dhane Smith

Story by TorontoRock.com. Photo by Graig Abel.

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