Rock clock Rush

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:52 PM ET

TORONTO -- It was only a matter of time before the Toronto Rock got their act together.

The defending National Lacrosse League champions were off to a shocking 0-4 start and rumours of wholesale changes were brewing. What the Rock needed to cure their blues was a visit from the also winless Edmonton Rush.

Consider the prescription filled.

MANNING AND FRIENDS

Toronto's front-line players - reigning league MVP Colin Doyle, Josh Sanderson and Sherwood Park native Blaine Manning - lit up the Rush for a combined 31 points on the way to a 14-8 victory before a crowd of 15,104 at the Air Canada Centre. And not wanting to be left out, Aaron Wilson, fourth in Rock scoring, rocked the Rush defence for five goals.

"We got back to doing the things that we do," said Manning, who finished with a goal and nine assists for his second career 10-point effort.

While the Rock did what they do best, the Rush didn't do much of anything right.

Of particular pain to head coach Paul Day was the fact his club surrendered four power-play goals on eight Rock man-advantages and then coughed up three shorthanded markers as well. The Rush power play was again dismal, a measly 1-for-8.

After a long post-game speech by Day, there was a closed-door, players-only rant that lasted another 15 minutes.

"Absolutely," said Day when asked about making significant changes to his team.

"We don't want to look desperate but the guys who are here aren't getting the job done. It's a 16-game season and we're not going to be patient with people."

The Rock couldn't have asked for a better start as their high-powered offence connected for three goals on its first three shots against Rush goalie Pat Campbell before the first quarter was a minute and a half old.

After three straight games of having costly lulls that lasted at least a full quarter, that was the only time the Rush let their guard down.

It was short, but not too sweet.

The Rush have shown their ability to come back after falling behind but they were crushed in a matter of seconds by the Rock.

"At times we played with them and at times we out-played them, but we've got to be consistent,"said dejected Rush captain Andrew Turner, who scored on a breakaway late in the first quarter.

"It's just fundamental. If we're going to beat teams we've got to outwork them and we're not winning."

Sanderson and Manning continued their scoring barrage in the second quarter and Aaron Wilson's hat trick goal pushed the Rock out to an 8-3 lead before the Rush mounted a rally late in the first half. Brad Dairon bounced a shot past Bob Watson with 35 seconds to go and Jimmy Quinlan notched his second against his former team with a buzzer-beater that trimmed Toronto's lead by the break.

FULL CONTROL

The teams exchanged two goals apiece in the third quarter before the Rock took full control in the fourth. Wilson added two more and Doyle put a tight wrap on the win by netting a pair of shorthanded goals 86 seconds apart.

It was an especially bitter evening for Quinlan, who was playing his first game against the club that brought him into the NLL last season.

"The team comes way before individuals so I'm just upset all-around," said Quinlan.

"It's simple. We've got to work harder. We think we're prepared but we're not fully there yet."

Doyle and Sanderson each scored three for the Rock with Chris Driscoll adding two. Kevin Howard notched three for the Rush with Randy Daly chipping in one.


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