New-look Rock set for Swarm

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

Toronto Rock fans get their first look at the team's revamped roster tonight at the Air Canada Centre.

The game against the Minnesota Swarm will be the 11th and final home opener for Rock captain Jim Veltman during his remarkable run with the franchise.

Veltman will retire at season's end.

The Rock opened its season last Saturday with an 11-9 victory over the Chicago Shamrox and head coach Glenn Clark was pleased with his team's performance.

"We are very happy," Clark said. "It has been a while since we actually started the season with a win."

That's certainly true. The Rock lost its first three games last season and ended up just 6-10, while in 2006, the team started 0-4, before rallying to finish 8-8.

The Rock defeated Minnesota 17-12 in an exhibition tilt last month on the strength of six goals by Ryan Benesch and split a pair with the 9-7 Swarm last season.

Clark expects the Swarm to be tough to beat both tonight and in St. Paul tomorrow.

"They present challenges to you all over the floor," Clark said.

"Their defence is strong and they run the ball well.

"They're a team that we have to prove ourselves against because they were better than us last year."

The Swarm was below average offensively a season ago and took steps to address that deficiency.

To that end, tonight's game marks the National Lacrosse League debut of rookie of the year favourite Craig Point of Ohsweken. Point is an explosive talent who finished third in scoring at the 2007 World Indoor lacrosse championship last May.

Tonight's game will be the first of five this season broadcast on Sportsnet Ontario.


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