Rock in for a grudge match

RYAN WOLSTAT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:48 AM ET

If the Rock treats the visiting Chicago Shamrox like expansion patsies this afternoon, the team could be in for a rude awakening.

Shamrox general manager/head coach Jamie Batley has assembled a competitive squad of league castoffs, headlined by Brandon Miller, the first overall pick in the expansion draft, who is in the top five of every major goaltending category, despite facing a league-high 43.3 shots-per-game.

Miller has had to be huge for Chicago, because only two NLL teams score less than the Shamrox.

Batley previously led the Colorado Mammoth to a 26-13 record and two division crowns, so Rock head coach Glenn Clark isn't surprised at his bench opponent's success so far in the Windy City.

"Jamie has them working really hard, they're a good solid team," Clark said.

The Shamrox shocked the rest of the loop by winning three of its first four contests, and two of the team's losses have been by a combined three goals.

The Rock dropped its first three matches, before sweeping the Buffalo Bandits at the beginning of the month.

Clark said the Rock's home-and-home sweep did wonders for team confidence.

"There has been a lot of changes (here)," he said.

"We're trying to implement a system and for people to buy into it, you've got to have some success."

Batley certainly is aware of what the Rock is capable of.

"They got off to a slow start, but showed what they can do against Buffalo. We're looking for a tough battle (today)."


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