Rock controls post-season fate

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:28 PM ET

The Toronto Rock has a better chance of making the playoffs on the last day of its season than the Toronto Raptors did.

Unlike the Raptors, who needed to win Wednesday and have the Chicago Bulls lose to get to the post-season, the Rock can return to the playoffs following a two-year absence with either a win over the Rochester Knighthawks or a loss by the Boston Blazers or Buffalo Bandits.

The Rock would much prefer to clinch in front of its fans for a variety of reasons.

Most notably, it would reward the faithful for showing patience and encourage them to come back next season. It would also go a long way toward locking up a home playoff date for the first time since 2005.

A Rock win coupled with a Bandits loss against the Orlando Titans would give Toronto a playoff opener at the ACC.

Rochester, Buffalo and Boston each are 7-7 with two games left to play, while the Rock is 8-7 with just a game remaining.

The Rock even has a small chance of locking up first place in the East with a win and losses by Orlando in its three remaining contests.

Rock general manager/assistant coach Terry Sanderson said the team practiced well this week and will be ready after being outplayed in a demoralizing 13-10 loss to the Bandits last weekend.

"The ball has never moved as well all year as it did at practice on Tuesday," Sanderson said. "If that is a sign of things to come tomorrow, then we'll be (alright)."

The game will be, for all intents and purposes, a playoff game, no surprise considering the history between the two sides. Rochester took out Toronto in both the 2006 and 2007 playoffs, while the Rock dispatched Rochester on the way to its 2005 championship, and twice before that beat the 'Hawks in the title game.


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