Rock a win away from championship

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:31 AM ET

The Toronto Rock is a win away from its first championship since 2005.

The National Lacrosse League outfit rallied from a 5-4 halftime deficit with seven goals — five of them consectively — in the third quarter to stun the Orlando Titans in Orlando, Fla.

Toronto will travel to play the winner of the Edmonton Rush and Washington Stealth, who played in the other semifinal later Saturday.

“Any time that you make it there it is sweet. It is a different sweet, last year was a special team, this year is a special team. We are happy to get there, to be there, but we know we still have a job to do,” said Rock head coach Troy Cordingley in a release.

Cordingley led the Calgary Roughnecks to the NLL title in 2009.

Bob Watson stopped 38-of-48 shots for the Rock and improves to 13-4 in the postseason.

Unheralded forward Kasey Beirnes led the Rock with three goals and an assist. Captain Colin Doyle had a goal and four assists and rookies Stephan Leblanc and Garrett Billings each added two goals and two assists.

The team’s tough defence held 44-goal-man Casey Powell to a single strike.

Equalizer

After a run of solid goaltending, Blaine Manning evened the score 3:13 into the third quarter.

Toronto scored 31 seconds later and then the floodgates opened.

Beirnes felt good about his and the team’s effort.

“We have a team in there that is confident, and people need to watch out for us, things are going well and we are playing well,” Beirnes said.

The Rock won the 2005 title at the ACC, its fifth in seven years and last won the championship on the road back-to-back in 2002/03 in Albany and Rochester, N.Y.

The team missed the playoffs the previous two seasons and lost in the first round to Rochester in 2006 and 2007.


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