Reeling Rock loses again

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

BUFFALO -- The dismal start to the season continued for the Toronto Rock, now 0-4, after a 13-10 loss to the Buffalo Bandits last night.

The Rock had been an impressive 8-2 in Buffalo in the past, and despite its record this season, has played well in most of its games. However, too many defensive errors, an inefficient power play and an uncharacteristic number of dropped balls played a large part in leading to the club's worst start in franchise history.

At one point in the game, Buffalo scored four unanswered goals and three in a row at two other points.

Rock general manager/coach Terry Sanderson said the team cannot allow that to happen. "We had a couple of lapses and we don't know why we have them," Sanderson said. "A lot of these guys haven't gone through (repeated lapses) before, but we've got to figure it out."

After a season-long trend of slow starts, the Rock stormed out of the gate and grabbed a 3-0 lead before the Bandits, playing in their home opener, replied with four of their own. Rusty Kruger's late goal pulled the Rock even and the two teams entered the half tied 4-4.

The Bandits turned the tables on the Rock early in the second half, scoring three consecutive goals before Aaron Wilson, Blaine Manning -- completing the hat trick -- and Colin Doyle squared matters midway through the third. The Bandits then reeled off three quick goals and led 10-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

Josh Sanderson opened the scoring in the fourth with a power-play marker, but Buffalo responded quickly, building its lead to 12-8.

Buffalo transition-man Billy Dee Smith had a strong night, potting two goals.

Bandits coach Darris Kilgour was happy to get the rare home win against the Rock.

"We haven't won at home against them in a few years since (2002). So getting that monkey off our back is huge," Kilgour said.

"They're having a tough stretch but they will get it back together again."

The Rock gets its best chance to collect its first win of the season Friday when it hosts the expansion Edmonton Rush at the ACC.


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