Rock snaps Necks' streak

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

They fought, they rallied and they throttled the well-rested defending NLL champions. The seventeen men who wore Rock jerseys last night -- all of whom arrived home at 1:30 p.m. yesterday after a 15-9 road win over the Minnesota Swarm Friday night -- didn't back down from the Calgary Roughnecks, who had won four in a row, and delivered a loud and clear statement.

The Rock (4-2) outscored the Roughnecks 12-4 in the second half to win 16-10 before 17,240 at the Air Canada Centre.

There were five fights in the final minute.

"In my opinion, they tried to taint our win and I don't like that," said Rock captain Jim Veltman, whose team moved into a tie for first in the East Division with the Rochester Knighthawks and the Buffalo Bandits. "One or two fights, okay, that's acceptable ... I don't think we instigated any one of those fights."

The Roughnecks claim the physical finish had more to do with their view of the officials than the Rock. Toronto had 13 power plays, with eight goals, to Calgary's five with two goals. Roughnecks coach Chris Hall was ejected in the fourth quarter while making a goalie change.

"Frustrations are going to boil over when you have officiating as bad as that," Roughnecks captain Tracey Kelusky said. "We didn't play well enough to win that game. But with the officiating and all the bad calls and playing short a man basically the whole second half, tempers are going to (flare)."

The Rock even drew blood in two fights, with Tim O'Brien (making his Toronto debut) cutting Ryan McNish and Dan Ladouceur doing the same to Jesse Phillips.

The Rock erased a 6-4 halftime deficit by outscoring the Roughnecks 7-1 in the third quarter. Included was a four-goal run in a span of 1:23. Rock goalie Bob Watson was sharp the rest of the way, making 35 saves. The Roughnecks (4-3) were relaxing in their hotel rooms Friday.

SEVENTH MAN

"We have the seventh man on the floor with the home crowd and we got on a roll and guys fed off each other," Ladouceur said. "There was no fatigue here."

Blaine Manning led the Rock with 10 points (two goals, eight assists). Toronto responded after two losses against Rochester two weeks ago, including a 15-6 defeat at home.

"Two weeks ago, we embarrassed ourselves in front of our fans," Veltman said. "(Last night), we showed we're going to be contenders ... It was one of those games where hopefully the message will go around that the Toronto Rock is back."

The Rock will enjoy its final bye week of the season before playing


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