Rough night in 'Peg

JIM BENDER, STAFF REPORTER

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

The game opened with a brilliant light show and the accompanying rock music continued to blare throughout the action.

And last night's National Lacrosse League exhibition match between the Toronto Rock and Minnesota Swarm featured plenty of rough stuff as the lacrosse sticks were used as both weapons and scoring devices. There were plenty of whacks, cross-checks and even the odd bodycheck.

'LET'S SEE A FIGHT!'

"Let's see a fight!" shouted one of about 3,500 fans at the MTS Centre late in the first period.

Toronto's Tim (The Surgeon) O'Brien accommodated him with a brief dustup with Minnesota's Eric Pacey in the second period.

"I like the rough stuff," said Willie Moore, a University of Manitoba student from Nelson House who attended with a group of First Nations people. "Basically, I came here for the fights and because we're aboriginals and that's a sport invented by our forefathers.

"We're trying to incorporate it into the aboriginal communities if we can and we'd like it to become part of the North American Indigenous Games."

Chris (The Pistol) Driscoll, forward Aaron (Wild Man) Wilson and forward Rusty (K-Dog) Kruger scored hat tricks as Toronto stopped the Storm 13-12. Colin (Popeye) Doyle scored the winner while forwards Sean Kimpinski Josh Sanderson and Blaine Manning had the others.

Sean Pollock scored three, Kasey Beirnes and Jamie Taylor, with two each, Ryan Cousins, Andrew Biers, Brad Boyle and Scott Stewart replied for Minnesota.

After Toronto led 6-4 at the half, the teams reverted to 4-on-4 for the second half for some reason. And with 17 seconds left, both goalies went to the bench for an extra attacker, despite Toronto leading by one.

'A GREAT TIME'

"It's been excellent, we're having a great time," said Randy Hapin, who was at the game with his son and their friends. "It's a family atmosphere. I've really enjoyed this. I wish it would come here more often."

Warren Kaminsky, 10, plays both 10 A-1 hockey and lacrosse for the Tyndall Park Falcons.

"It's really great," he said. "It's my first time seeing a professional lacrosse game. I like the contact and how easy it is to score."

Amanda Krahn was soaking up the ambiance.

"I like to watch it," she said. "I like the fast pace. I like sports and it's a good sport. I've never played it but I've watched it on TV. I'd love to see a pro franchise here, for sure."

Fans were asked to send their reactions to the game to www.nll.com/fansurvey.

Although the promoters had been disappointed with pre-game sales, they had a walkup crowd of about 1,500.


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