In a season filled with heart-stopping comebacks, Colin Doyle capped the biggest one, scoring his fifth goal of the evening 1:13 into overtime to give the Rock a 15-14 victory over the Philadelphia Wings in front of 18,400 fans at the Air Canada Centre last night.
The Rock still may need a win next Saturday in Rochester -- 10-9 winners over Minnesota yesterday -- to make the playoffs. If Minnesota loses again today, the Rock is in regardless.
Toronto gave up seven of the game's first eight goals, fought back to tie, then proceeded to give up seven of eight again before answering with six of its own in the fourth to force the extra period.
Doyle admitted there were times the team thought all was lost.
"Our heads were down, we had a mountain to climb," he said.
"You see your (playoff) life flash before your eyes," added Blaine Manning who, like Doyle, scored 10 points.
After the game, Rock coach Terry Sanderson credited his team for coming back from adversity once again, but admitted the Rock was lucky to escape with a win.
"We weren't very good tonight ... let's not kid ourselves," he said.
The strong play in goal of Phil Wetherup, in for a stretch of 12:30 after starter Bob Watson was yanked following Philadelphia's blazing start, along with a Matt Shearer goal and a pair of scraps late in the first seemed to change the game's momentum.
The Wings took a 10-8 lead into the half and goaltender Matt Roik kept the Rock off the board in the third, allowing his team to creep comfortably ahead 13-8 entering the final quarter.
Doyle broke Philadelphia's run of five unanswered early in the fourth, and two more Rock goals made it 14-11. Doyle then cut the deficit to two with just under two minutes remaining and Aaron Wilson scored twice in the final minute with Watson pulled, the latter with just 7.5 seconds remaining, to bring the Rock even.
Wilson had done similar damage this season against the Wings, scoring in overtime after the Rock had made a late comeback to force extra time, while Doyle also had an overtime winner earlier this year.