Rock survives intense clash with Stealth

DAN ILIKA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:01 PM ET

TORONTO - It was a rematch of last years championship game and the ACC was jumping with playoff intensity as the Rock took on the Washington Stealth Friday night.

The game was a grind-it-out affair, with both sides showing some leftover emotion from last years championship tilt but it was Toronto that eventually prevailed with a 13-12 victory.

Toronto came out strong in the first, with captain Colin Doyle leading the charge with two goals in the opening frame.

The Rock looked strong through most of a penalty-laiden second, controlling the tempo despite scoring only once in the quarter.

But it was Washington that closed the second on a high, tallying twice in the final five minutes to cut Torontos lead to 5-4.

The Rock had its back against the wall in a high-scoring third frame, with Washington dominating at both ends of the floor.

The two sides exchanged blows in the quarter, coming together on a combined nine goals, but it was Toronto that closed the frame well, retaking the lead after 45 minutes of play.

The final frame proved to be the most exciting, with neither side giving an inch until the final whistle blew.

All 11,000 fans were on the edge of their seats through most of the fourth quarter as it came down to the wire, with Toronto closing out regulation time in the final two minutes of play to send the game to overtime.

Toronto took advantage of the crowds intensity in the extra frame, playing pressure ball and dominating much of the possession in the frame.

In the end it was Stephan Leblanc who played hero for Toronto, scoring on a beautiful play started by Doyle.

Leblanc finished the game with three goals, while Doyle chipped in with six points, including assists on Torontos final three goals.

With the win Toronto improved its record to 10-0 on the season when leading after three quarters.

Rookie forward Rob Hellyer, who played in just the second game of his career, was a surprising leader for Toronto. The 18-year-old had five assists and one goal on the night for the Rock.

Goalie Bob Watson saw his goals against average climb slightly on the night, giving up 12 on 47 shots.

Toronto went 5-7 on the man advantage against a weak Washington penalty killing unit.

The Rock (9-3) is on the road Saturday night as it heads to Philadelphia (4-8) to face the Wings at 7:00 p.m.


Videos

Photos