By Alex Medina | Staff Writer Photo Credit:
The Toronto Rock continue to show why they are one of the best defensive teams in the NLL.
The Rock held the Calgary Roughnecks to just two goals in the first quarter, leading to an 11-7 victory at the Scotiabank Saddledome Sunday afternoon.
The two first half goals scored by the Roughnecks matched their record of lowest goals scored in the first half, dating back to April. 2, 2010, coincidentally, against the Toronto Rock.
Rookie Tom Schreiber led the way offensively for the second straight week for the Rock, scoring a hat trick and adding three assists.
“We did a nice job early with the offense,” Schreiber said.
“I think Rose and the defense really kept us in it.”
Nick Rose was stellar once again in goal, as he has been all season long, shutting down the Roughnecks offense ending the night with 40 saves to backstop the Rock to their fourth win on the year.
The win improved the Rock’s record to 4-1, while the Roughnecks see their record drop to 3-3 so far for the 2017 NLL season.
After putting up 17 goals the week prior against the Buffalo Bandits, the Rock found themselves in a more defensive battle this week, keeping the Roughnecks high power offense to just four goals after three quarters of play.
For Schreiber, going from high scoring one week to a more defensive battle the next, showcases how the team are able to add to the win column no matter how the game is played.
“If our offence aren’t having a great day, our defence will be there for us,” Schreiber said.
“We’re taking it week by week, not looking too far ahead and focusing on getting better in all facets of the game.”
For the second week in a row, the Roughnecks found themselves battling to play catch up in the fourth quarter, unable to draw even in the end similar to their game against the Saskatchewan Rush last weekend.
“We have to come out of the gate with more urgency,” head coach Curt Malawsky said, in terms to falling behind early as they headed into the second half.
“We need to play a more fundamentally sound game as well, our offence played a bit more selfish.”
The Roughnecks were able to cut the lead down to just three late in the fourth quarter, thanks to Curtis Dickson scoring his fifth of the game, but that was as close they would get, as Billy Hostrawser added an empty netter to ice the game for the Rock.
“We dug ourselves a bit of a hole,” Roughnecks captain Mike Carnegie said about the team’s performance.
“It was very achievable to come back, we just need to work as a team to have the confidence and belief to ride the highs and lows of the game to get the win.”
Overall, Carnegie believes that the team could have done more to create chances to score and played more to the style of the Rock, instead of playing their own type of game.
“I thought we played a little bit of a perimeter game tonight which feeds to Toronto’s defence,” Carnegie said.
“We have to fix it and I think we know how.”
The Roughnecks will look to snap a two-game losing streak when they welcome the Vancouver Stealth on Feb. 18, while the Rock will look for their third straight win when they face off against East Division leaders, the Georgia Swarm on Feb. 17.