Rock breaks out for win

RYAN WOLSTAT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:14 AM ET

Who were those guys?

That question might have been on the mind of the 13,468 in attendance at the Air Canada Centre who witnessed the previously punchless Toronto Rock fire off 59 shots in a 16-9 victory over the Edmonton Rush yesterday.

The Rock (2-3) had managed to score just 26 times (less than nine a night) in its previous three contests, but all seemed well in new head coach Jamie Batley's home debut.

The Rock, once nearly unbeatable at the ACC, had not won there since a March 21, 2008 victory over Edmonton, a string of five straight home losses.

Batley said his team was well aware of that streak.

"We talked about that our fans and ourselves deserve a home win and I think the guys really took that with them when they went out there," Batley said.

Early in the game, it didn't look like things would go smoothly.

After the Rock failed to beat Edmonton goalie and ex-league MVP Steve Dietrich with several first-quarter chances, the Rush fired four goals past Rock starter Bob Watson, prompting a brief, 13-second switch to Mike Attwood.

The move appeared to work, as a more energized Rock side battled back behind Lewis Ratcliff. Ratcliff reeled off three scores in a row and captain Chris Driscoll tied the game 4-4.

When the Rock took its first lead of the game -- 6-5 -- the team was outshooting the Rush 30-15. The final tally was 59-40.

Ratcliff said he and his teammates are feeling better under Batley's new system.

"It's a lot more spread," Ratcliff said. "There's a lot more ball movement, getting everybody involved."

Ratcliff led the Rock with four goals and three assists. Jason Crosbie added four goals. Driscoll added a pair and Stephen Hoar, Rob Marshall, Blaine Manning, Kasey Beirnes, Scott Campbell and Craig Conn added singles.

Conn's goal, along with a pretty assist earlier, were his first points in his first appearance in almost a year and a half, because of a knee injury.

The Rock held tenuous one-goal leads after the second and third quarters but seized momentum by scoring on its first shots of both the third and fourth quarters.

Toronto held Edmonton off the board in the final frame.

Ex-Rock star Ryan Benesch had a goal and two assists for the Rush.


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