TORONTO - The Rock is continuing to show why itís the greatest show on (astro) turf.
It was Blackout Breast Cancer Night at the ACC, with Toronto players donning pink helmets as part of a charity fundraiser, but there was nothing charitable about the teamís play as the Rock cruised to a 15-10 victory over the Philadelphia Wings on Friday night
Toronto controlled the tempo throughout most of the opening 15 minutes, getting shots off from all over. Then it got physical, with the two sides throwing their weight around as they tried to establish positioning on offence.
It was a turning point as Toronto was no match for the size and physicality of Philly.
The Wings took advantage on the offensive end, burying four goals to stay in the game.
The third quarter started out as an absolute shootout, with the teams combining for five goals in the first five minutes.
The chippy play continued, but both teams were spacing well on offence and playing lax defence as the floodgates opened.
Philly jumped all over its opportunities in the quarter, tying the game up behind the strong play of Athan Iannucci, who connected twice in the frame.
Just when it looked like the wheels were falling off for the Rock, it received a huge spark from an unlikely source.
Rookie forward Rob Hellyer made his NLL debut and scored his first career goal and it was a dandy.
Driving to the net through heavy Philadelphia traffic, Hellyer, who also had three assists, flicked it behind his back and over his shoulder to close out the third.
Hellyerís goal proved to be a game-changer as Toronto awoke behind an energized crowd, locking down the Wings potent offence and taking advantage of its own opportunities, piling on five goals in the final frame to seal the deal.
Second-year standouts Stephan Leblanc and Garrett Billings once again led the charge for Toronto, combining for 11 points.
Keeper Bob Watson showed flashes of brilliance despite giving up 10 goals.
He finished the game with 39 saves for the Rock as the team looks poised to make another deep run into the post-season.
The Rock is now on a three week in-season break with only five regular-season games remaining.
Toronto will be in action again on March 25 when it takes on the Roughnecks in Calgary.