Doyle continues to dazzle in NLL

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

Pass the game tape from last night to the gentlemen who determine the winner of the National Lacrosse League\'s most valuable player award.

If the outstanding, unselfish performance by Colin Doyle -- the league\'s scoring leader -- doesn\'t convince voters the Toronto Rock forward is the NLL\'s MVP this season, nothing will.

The Kitchener native notched a goal and eight assists -- with a whopping seven helpers coming in the first half -- as the Rock beat the Vancouver Ravens 11-7 before a crowd of 15,723 at the Air Canada Centre.

\"If (Doyle) is not the MVP at this point ... he\'s just playing phenomenal,\" said Rock captain Jim Veltman, whose team improved to 10-3 with its fourth win in a row, all but securing a playoff spot with three games left in the season.

\"What are you going to do? Let him shoot? Because he can score, too. He always prides himself on playing like (NLL legends Paul and Gary Gait) and he\'s playing like a young Gary (the NLL\'s career scoring leader) right now.\"

The amazing part is Doyle, 25, did all that after he was down on the floor for about a minute just 1:21 when he took a cross-check just behind his ear.

What\'s more, Doyle, who said things \"went a bit fuzzy\" after the hit, was in the penalty box for five minutes after a wild fight with A.J. Smith during the second quarter.

\"You\'re only as good as the players around you,\" said Doyle, who has established a career-high for points this season with 82.

\"I get them the ball and it\'s up to them to put it in. All the credit goes to them.\"

Doyle made the play of the game when he fed Blaine Manning a behind-the-back pass for a beautiful goal in the first quarter.

Manning and Aaron Wilson led the Rock with four goals apiece, while Veltman and Dan Ladouceur added singles.

Toronto never trailed for the second game in a row and outshot Vancouver 44-41. Rock goalie Bob Watson held the Ravens to three goals through three quarters.

The 3-6 Ravens pulled goalie Dwight Maetche in favour of Scott Wylie after three quarters.

Meanwhile, Rock forward Kim Squire, who survived a battle with flesh-eating disease in November, took part in the pre-game warmup for the first time this season. He had a huge smile on his face after the game.

\"It felt good,\" said Squire, who hopes to return March 21. \"It\'s one step closer to being back.\"

The Rock, which finishes the season with a 6-0 record against Northern Division foes, plays its final road game of the season Friday in Rochester against the Knighthawks.


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