Oakville, ON – The Toronto Rock opened a new chapter with a 10-8 exhibition win over a veteran laden Georgia Swarm squad on Saturday night at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, ON. It was Matt Sawyer’s first game behind the bench as the new head coach of the Rock.
“We were happy to see the Georgia lineup because we want to test ourselves and want to see where we stand,” said Sawyer following the game. “They had pretty much their whole offence dressed, so it was a good test for our defence and we like how we came out of it. It’s one game and we’ll move forward and get back to work at training camp on Tuesday night.”
The Rock battled through three shorthanded situations in the opening quarter with Georgia capitalizing on a pair of those chances to build a 2-1 lead after the opening 15 minutes. Newcomer Mikey MacDonald scored the lone Rock goal of the first quarter, coming off the bench in transition, burying a low shot.
The Rock tied the game and got out to their first lead of the game on a pair of Dan Lintner goals, one of which was on the power play. The Rock stretched their lead to 4-2 on MacDonald’s second of the game. Georgia continued to connect on the power play, scoring all three of their first half goals with the man advantage. Toronto was unsuccessful on a late 6-on-5 play and carried a 4-3 lead into the halftime break.
MacDonald continued to carry the hot stick for the Rock, scoring his third of the game to give the Rock a 5-3 lead. Georgia got things rolling, rattling off four straight goals to jump out to a 7-5 lead. That didn’t last for long as Brodie Tutton scored for the Rock right off the draw and Kieran McArdle followed up shortly after that with an outside shot that found it’s way past Swarm netminder Warren Hill to tie the game 7-7 through three quarters.
Matt Crough scored just over a minute into the fourth quarter to put the Rock ahead 8-7 and held that lead for over five minutes before the Swarm’s Kiel Matisz scored his third goal of the game to even things 8-8. Just 40 seconds later, the Rock got a weird one from an unlikely source as Billy Hostrawser got the ball behind Adam Shute in the Georgia net. Lintner’s third of the game on the power play with less than five minutes to play sealed the Rock win.
MacDonald led the Rock with 5 points (3+2) followed by Lintner (3+0) and Crough (1+2) who each had 3 points. MacDonald was signed as a free agent in the off-season after seeing limited action with the New England Black Wolves as a rookie in 2016. Goalie Steve Fryer played the first half of the game and allowed just 3 goals, while Zach Higgins played the second half giving up 5 goals.
The Rock will resume training camp on Tuesday night in Oakville and will host the Colorado Mammoth one week from tonight on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the TRAC.
Toronto Rock Season Tickets are on sale now. Single game tickets will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, December 6th. For more information about Toronto Rock tickets, please call 416-596-3075 or visit www.torontorock.com.