Rock steals one from Bandits

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

It wasn't pretty, but the Rock will take a win in Buffalo any way it can.

Toronto scored four times in the final quarter to escape with a 10-8 victory at the HSBC Arena over the Bandits in a sloppy but intense game before a crowd of 14,064.

Rock coach/general manager Terry Sanderson picked up his 50th career NLL win and had high praise for his team.

"We played fantastic," Sanderson said in a telephone interview.

"Every aspect was good. These guys took a pounding."

Rock captain Jim Veltman, with four points and 16 loose balls, along with newcomer Steve Evans, turned in strong efforts for Toronto.

Evans scored a key goal -- the Rock never trailed after he tied the game at five late in the third quarter -- and had an excellent scrap with Bandits star Mark Steenhuis early in the proceedings to set the tone for what was an extremely physical affair.

"(The fight) was the right time to get a little spark going," Evans said.

Both teams struggled to convert chances in a ragged first half that ended tied at three. The game was locked at two for much of the half and only a penalty shot save by Bob Watson on John Tavares prevented the Rock from trailing entering the third.

The Bandits went up by a goal several times throughout the contest, but the Rock stormed back to tie each time.

Finally, Colin Doyle tallied late in the third to give the Rock a 6-5 advantage, its first lead since Veltman made it 1-0 early.

With the win, the 7-5 Rock avenged a 13-10 loss in Buffalo earlier this season and inched closer to the East Division-leading Rochester Knighthawks, who lost 16-12 in Philadelphia last night.


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