Rock red hot

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

Baseball players need spring training, perhaps the Rock needed winter training.

After four consecutive losses to start the 2006 campaign, the Rock has rolled to six consecutive wins, including a 13-8 triumph last night over the Minnesota Swarm.

Red-hot Aaron Wilson, the reigning NLL player of the week, scored four goals and added three assists to power the Rock along with Josh Sanderson and Colin Doyle who also had seven points. Kelly Hall was the Swarm's top scorer with four goals. Goaltender Bob Watson turned in his fourth outstanding performance in a row, making 44 saves.

Watson said he didn't play lacrosse in the summer and it has taken him and his teammates some time to round into shape.

"You almost take it for granted that you're going to get back to (top form) when you win five out of seven (NLL titles)," he said. "It takes a lot of hard work to get there. There's no free passes in this league."

Wilson opened the scoring on the power play, but the Swarm answered with a short-handed marker and a power-play goal late in the first to take the lead. The most exciting play of the quarter came when Watson raced out of his net and up the floor to drill Swarm captain Ryan Cousins.

Watson kept the Rock in the game with exceptional work early, while Swarm goalie Nick Patterson also played well, aside from a rough patch that saw the Rock score four in a row, including three in one minute, to take a 5-2 lead.

Minnesota cut the deficit to 5-4 late in the half and tied the game at six early in the third. From there it was all Rock.

Toronto scored the next four goals to take a 10-6 lead into the final frame.

The winning streak appears to be having quite an effect on the Air Canada Centre's patrons. Although the crowd of 15,830 was one of the smallest of the season, there was a definite buzz in the arena.

Rock general manager/ coach Terry Sanderson was extremely pleased that his team gave up only three even-strength goals even though defensive mainstay Dan Ladouceur was held out of the game because of an ankle injury.

"Defensively we were as strong as we've ever been," Sanderson said.

Ladouceur will be back in the lineup tonight in Philadelphia.


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