Tusk, tusk, tusk

RYAN WOLSTAT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

Irish eyes certainly were not smiling on the Rock, 13-12 losers in overtime to the Colorado Mammoth last night in front of 15,614 at a raucous Air Canada Centre.

The 4-7 Rock, who have lost four games in a row, surprised the 10-1 Mammoth. Toronto built a 10-5 lead before fading down the stretch, surrendering eight of the final 10 goals, including Dan Carey's overtime winner.

Rock head coach Glenn Clark was incensed at the inconsistent officiating and was restrained by forward Blaine Manning from going after the refereeing crew after the final buzzer.

Clark did not mince words after the game, taking exception to a non-call on a play similar to one the Rock were penalized for earlier.

"It's unacceptable. They screw us with the schedule and they screw us with the calls," Clark said.

"You can't do that to a team. When you set a precedent, follow through."

Colorado coach Gary Gait felt Clark's anger was misguided.

"That could have gone both ways," Gait said. "They were letting us play. There definitely could have been a few more calls (but) referees aren't going to win or lose you games."

The Rock limped into the contest last night still smarting from a 12-9 loss in Edmonton on Friday. Toronto outshot Edmonton 59-37 but still lost.

Perhaps feeling the effects of the long flight from the City of Champions, the Rock fell behind well-rested Colorado 3-0 early, but rallied to score seven of the next nine goals, to take a 7-5 lead into the half.

Colorado has run roughshod on the rest of the league, but had trouble with an inspired Rock squad.

Toronto's struggling power play -- third-worst in the National Lacrosse League entering play last night -- sprung to life, scoring on three of six chances, but Colorado's seven-for-seven performance with the extra man sunk the Rock.

Little-used Mike Poulin was the surprise starter in net for Toronto, replacing long-time starter Bob Watson.

Poulin responded with a strong effort in his first career start, holding the Mammoth off the scoreboard for a full 15 minutes at one point.

The team rallied around Poulin, outshooting the Mammoth 67-54.

Rock captain Jim Veltman was impressed by Poulin's play. "Mike gave us a chance to win," he said. "They were firing on all cylinders, It's amazing what he did tonight"

At the other end of the floor, Gee Nash -- statistically the NLL's top goaltender -- was left out to dry by his teammates and mercifully was pulled early in the third quarter trailing 9-5. That change was the spark Colorado needed to rally for the victory.

Ryan Benesch led the Rock with seven points, but was cursing himself after the game despite his four goals, because at least five of his 18 shots hit iron. One unofficial count had the Rock hitting 13 posts in all.

Brian Langtry had five goals for Colorado.

The Rock's next game is in Minnesota on Friday.

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REPORT CARD

B+ Offence: Picked apart one of the league's best defences for 67 shots, but hit multiple posts.

C+ Defence: Adapted well to the insertion of Bryan Riddell and Scott Campbell, and the shifting of Jim Veltman and Chris Driscoll to forward, but penalty killing poor.


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