Rock's offence comes alive

DAN ILKA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:04 PM ET

If there were questions about whether Toronto could return to its early season form they were answered Friday, as the Rock cruised to a 10-5 win over Rochester.

With the win Toronto (6-2) knocked the Knighthawks (4-3) from its second-place perch in the first of a home-and-home series.

It was a back-and-forth battle for most of the first half, with both teams matching each other goal for goal to begin the contest.

After opening the scoring against division rival Rochester a little over a minute into the game, Toronto’s defence lapsed a little, giving up two straight to the ’Hawks.

But Toronto came into its own shortly after behind the sensational play of rookie Aaron Pascas and veteran Kasey Beirnes.

Beirnes and reigning rookie of the week Pascas were the only players to score for the Rock in the opening 15 minutes and kept Toronto in it as Rochester came out looking to take the top spot in the east.

Heading into the second quarter, both teams settled into their defensive schemes, allowing a combined three goals on 26 shots.

Biernes was the Rock’s lone scorer in the second quarter with two goals, giving Toronto a 6-4 lead heading into halftime.

The second half saw the Rock live up to its defensive reputation, giving up only one goal on 17 shots.

With 10 goals on the night, the Rock snapped its three-game single-digit scoring drought.

The team’s power play still left something to be desired, though, with the special teams going only 1-for-4 on the man advantage.

Backstop Bob Watson held the Knighthawks in check, stopping 32 of the 37 shots. The victory gave Watson 100 career wins.

Beirnes led the charge for the Rock with a hat trick in the first half alone and finished the game with five goals.

Garrett Billings had a strong second half for the Rock, scoring three goals.

Sophomore forward Stephan Leblanc still is struggling to find his scoring touch but did have four helpers for Toronto.

The Rock outshot Rochester 48-37.

The series now shifts to Rochester where the teams will duke it out Saturday night at the Blue Cross Arena at 7:35 p.m.


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