Rock crush lowly Storm

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

The hardest part of the Toronto Rock's weekend was making last-minute travel arrangements to Anaheim.

The game itself wasn't much of a problem.

Two days after Jetsgo's collapse forced the National Lacrosse League team to bus to Detroit to catch a flight to Disneyland, the Rock jumped out to an 8-0 halftime lead and coasted to a 14-6 win over the struggling Anaheim Storm yesterday at the Arrowhead Pond.

"The biggest thing for us is we got out here a day ahead of time (because of a late schedule change pushing the game back a day)," said Rock general manager/coach Terry Sanderson, whose team had its best defensive performance and largest margin of victory this season yesterday.

"That more or less got rid of the 21-hour travel day on Friday. That was key."

With its fourth win in the past five games, the Rock (6-3) maintained its hold on second place in the five-team East Division, half a game behind the first-place Buffalo Bandits (7-3) and half a game ahead of the Rochester Knighthawks (6-4).

The Storm (2-7), last in the West Division, lost its sixth game in a row.

Some felt the Rock might look past a game against a last-place team in front of a sparse crowd, but Toronto showed great intensity in the early stages and goalie Bob Watson shut the door on the Storm snipers.

"To come out here after 21 hours of travel in a building that doesn't have the atmosphere of the ACC, it's easy for the guys to drift off," Sanderson said. "But they all were focused and they knew what they had to do."

Watson was replaced by little-used Phil Wetherup with the Rock up 13-5 in the fourth quarter.

"Bobby's on top of his game," Rock defender Chris Driscoll said. "He's seeing the ball really well and we're stepping up. We're working well together."

Forward Rusty Kruger, who missed the past five games with a neck injury, returned to the lineup and scored a goal.

Colin Doyle led the Rock with three goals, while Blaine Manning, Josh Sanderson and Aaron Wilson had two apiece.

The Rock plays host to the surging Arizona Sting (6-4) Friday at the Air Canada Centre.


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