Defensive systems Rock the Dome

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

In a battle of old versus new, the more experienced team won out.

With Toronto Rock coaches Troy Cordingley and Terry Sanderson now running the same defensive system they used to lead the Calgary Roughnecks to the 2009 National Lacrosse League championship, there was an epic struggle when the two teams met Sunday.

The Riggers, who have played this style since 2008 and are defending league champions, eventually gained the edge by beating the Rock 10-8 Sunday at the Saddle-dome.

Rock goalie Steve Dietrich, who played with the Roughnecks in 2008, got the start and made 39 saves in a great effort.

But his return to Calgary wasn't a complete success after his new team blew a four-goal lead.

"I was telling Colin (Doyle) how much fun it would be to play that team in a seven-game series," Dietrich said. "There is not a lot of give either way.

"They're at where we want to be. They've played this system for three years, so they are at where want to get to. Basically, it's that what we look to. If we can keep working, that's the team we're going to be."

Before the game, both Sanderson and Cordingley received their championship rings and a tribute video played for the coaches who helped the Riggers to their second title last spring.

After that salute, the teams got down to a physical battle with a plenty of tight checking and loose-ball confrontations.

"That was a top-notch game with two teams that were really battling," Cordingley said. "That wasn't a regular-season game -- it was a playoff game. We fell a bit short.

"We're not making any excuses. We just have to be better in situations late in the game."


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