Gibson Rocks again

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

The 7-6 Rock, losers of two of its past three lacrosse games, hopes a familiar face will help the slumping team get back on a winning track tonight in St. Paul, Minn.

Darryl Gibson, who hoisted the Champions Cup in 2002 and 2003 while with the team, was re-acquired at the trade deadline two weeks ago from the Minnesota Swarm and tonight will play his first game for the Rock since then.

Gibson, an eastern all-star earlier this season, had asked Minnesota general manager Marty O'Neill to try to move him to a team closer to his family and financial job in Toronto, but was shocked that the Rock was the team that picked him up.

"It was probably the last place I expected to (be traded to), I'm very excited," Gibson said. Rock coach/general manager Terry Sanderson also was very pleased, saying earlier this week that he was surprised a player of Gibson's calibre was available. Toronto was in the market for an experienced defender because forward Matt Shearer's arm injury has forced Chris Driscoll to move up front.

The Rock played poorly at home in an 11-9 loss to Calgary last weekend and was roasted by Sanderson after the game, but he said his team already has put that game behind it and had an excellent practice earlier this week.

The Minnesota franchise, in just its second year of existence, was expected by many to finish last in the East this season. Instead, the plucky young squad, stocked with many members of the 2005 Mann Cup champion Victoria Shamrocks, has rode the terrific play of rookie goaltender Nick Patterson to the precipice of a playoff berth.


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