February 17, 2011
Rock look to sock Hawks
By DAN ILIKA, QMI Agency
Toronto will be looking to kill two Hawks with with one Rock as it faces Rochester in a home-and-home series this weekend.
The Rock (5-2) will face the Knighthawks (4-2) at the ACC Friday night before heading to New York Saturday to decide who is beast of the east in the National Lacrosse League.
Toronto will have its hands full as the ’Hawks have won two in a row and look like a team that’s rounding into shape with the playoff picture in sight.
“We’re happy with our record (but) there’s still a lot of work to get done,” Rochester head coach Mike Hasen said.
Toronto heads into the weekend on a high after defeating the Calgary Roughnecks in overtime last weekend. With the win, the Rock avoided losing back-to-back games for the first time this season.
But if they want to make it three in a row, they’ll need to find a way to score. Toronto has netted single-digit goals in its past three games — the first time that’s happened this century.
“We’d certainly like to be putting the ball in the net a little more but I think that’ll come,” Rock GM Terry Sanderson said. “They’re working hard at it, it’s just not (happening) for them right now.”
The Rock needs Stephan Leblanc to bounce back to his early season form if the team wants to continue its dominance. After scoring a combined 14 goals through his first four games, the second-year player has only three in his last three matches.
It doesn’t help that the Rock sits last in the league in power-play efficiency at only 25%.
This weekend might be their best shot to get back on track, as Rochester’s penalty kill is the worst in the league and should provide an opportunity to right the ship.
The good news for the Rock has come on the defensive end, where they have allowed only 20 goals in their last three games. “Defensively over the last two or three games we seem to be a little more solid in that area,” Sanderson said. “Where we are right now, we’re pleased.”