Balanced Calgary attack overpowers Toronto defense in exhibition opener
The Calgary Roughnecks defeated the Toronto Rock 14-5 in an exhibition game at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, Ontario on Saturday night. An 8-goal first half run was the undoing for the Rock as they opened their preseason schedule.
“I was hoping for a little different result,” said Rock Head Coach John Lovell. “All things considered, it wasn’t too bad. We gave up too many uncontested shots and left Steve Fryer out to dry. We’ve got a lot of work to do defensively, just too many easy shots, totally uncontested and we had several breakdowns defensively, but it’s all correctible.”
The Roughnecks scored 6 in a row to end the first quarter after falling behind 3-1 in the early going. They also scored the first 2 goals of the second quarter before the Rock’s Jimmy Purves broke up the 8-goal Calgary barrage. The Roughnecks added another 2 goals to lead 11-4 at the half.
Calgary got the only goal of the third quarter to lead 12-4 heading to the final 15 minutes. Mike Burke scored his second goal of the game to close the gap to 12-5. The Roughnecks added two more to round out the scoring.
“I thought Nick Diachenko played well and showed his athleticism,” said Lovell. “Jimmy Purves played also played well. Billy Hostrawser doesn’t get enough respect. He’s not a tough guy. He’s just a guy that gets his nose into tough areas and plays hard.”
Rock goals came from Burke with a pair and singles were credited to Purves, Brandon Benn and Scott Johnston.
Calgary scored 3 times on the powerplay and added 2 goals while shorthanded. Last season’s NLL leading goal scorer, Dane Dobbie, and Geoff Snider each added two goals for Calgary while Casey Jackson, Daryl Veltman, Jordan McBride, and Connor Goodwin rounded out the scoring. Calgary’s offense was firing on all cylinders as they scored from all areas of the floor and converted on 50 percent of their power play opportunities.
Steve Fryer played the first half for the Rock and allowed 11 goals, Nick Rose allowed just 3 goals in the second half. Mike Poulin started for Calgary surrendering 4 goals, Frankie Scigliano was beaten just once in the second half.
Throughout the NLL preseason, the league will be experimenting with the shootout after each game. The Rock won the shootout 2-1. Shawn Williams and Stephan Leblanc were successful for Toronto, while Kevin Ross was stopped. Jordan McBride scored for Calgary, however Connor Goodwin and Casey Jackson failed to score.
Toronto will resume training camp on Tuesday night at the TRAC. Their next exhibition action will be on Sunday, December 14 when they travel to Montreal to face the Rochester Knighthawks at Bell Centre. Meanwhile, Calgary travels to TRAC for a 12 p.m. ET scrimmage with the Minnesota Swarm, fresh off their exhibition win over Rochester, on Sunday.