February 12, 2011
Rock beats Riggers in OT
By DAN ILIKA, QMI Agency
TORONTO - The Rock continued to roll as it took down the Calgary Roughnecks 9-8 in front of a home crowd that was hungry for a win Saturday night at the ACC.
It was an exciting, grind-it-out game that was decided in overtime by a Aaron Pascas overtime winner for the Rock.
After Calgary's Jeff Shattler was robbed by keeper Bob Watson , Pascas made no mistake firing home the winner.
Following a near turnover by the Rock, Pascas scooped the loose ball and buried the winner much to the delight of the 10,000 fans on hand.
"I can't take too much credit for the goal," Pascas said. "It was a broken play ... it got to me and it was eyes closed. I picked it up, shot as hard as I could and I just found a way."
The Rock came out strong in the first quarter, with transition player Ryan Sharp opening the scoring 45 seconds into the game on a fluke goal that rattled off the back of Calgary keeper Mike Poulin before finding the back of the net.
Toronto looked like it was back to the playing style of an NLL powerhouse, controlling the tempo and running a disciplined offence.
But after the strong start, the team sputtered a little and looked poised to lose two in a row for the first time this season, with Calgary dominating at both ends of the floor.
The Rock had a hard time getting fired up through the first two quarters, scoring only three times on its first 29 shots.
The Roughnecks, led by defenceman Mike Carnegie, picked apart a lackluster a Toronto defence with crisp passing and a pressure offence through the first quarter and led 6-3 at the half.
As the second half rolled around, Toronto seemed to wake up, holding Calgary scoreless through the third quarter while scoring four goals on Poulin to take a one-goal lead heading into the fourth.
In the fourth, Toronto looked to be cruising to the victory behind lockdown D and strong play between the pipes from Bob Watson.
"When they're scoring on (almost) every other shot ... it's frustrating as a goalie and it's hard to get your confidence going," Watson said. "Once our offence got going it relieved a little pressure on the defence."
Toronto's defence took advantage of the let-up, holding its opponent to only 16 shots in the second half and only three in the extra frame.
"I thought we had a very good game (against) the best team in the west," said Toronto coach Troy Cordingley. "I was proud of the guys they way they handled and played hard."
Toronto outshot Calgary 60-36 on the night.
Captain Colin Doyle and forward Garrett Billings each scored two for Toronto as the team saw its record hit 5-2.
Saturday's game marks the third time in seven games the Rock has played extra time this year.
The Rock will be at home next Friday for a tilt with the Rochester
Knighthawks before heading to Rochester to finish the tail-end of the home-at-home series.