2022-2023 Outlook – Toronto Rock

Gary Groob
All Lacrosse All The Time  – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

2021-2022 Record: 13-5; 2nd place East Division; Lost to Buffalo in the Eastern Division Finals.

New Faces:

F Corey Small, F Stephen Keogh, T Chris Corbeil, G Sam Haines, F Josh Dawick, F Marley Angus, T Tyler Hendrycks

Key Losses:

F Rob Hellyer, F Reid Reinholdt, F Aaron Forster, F Justin Scott, G Riley Hutchcraft

Last season hopes were high that the Rock would win their first championship since the 2011 season.  Toronto was the hottest team heading into the playoffs winning 11 of their last 13 games, but two one goal losses to the Buffalo Bandits in the Eastern Finals left them empty again.

Last season the Rock also had to deal with playing in front of an empty arena for three games due to Covid-19 protocols.  This year the First Ontario Centre will be “Rocking” from start to finish.

Jamie Dawick, Rock owner and GM, has gone “All In” bolstering up his lineup with key veterans in key spots, making Toronto one of the favorites to win this year’s NLL Championship.

Offense:

The Rock lost strong players in Reid Reinholdt, and Rob Hellyer, but the additions of Corey Small, and Stephen Keogh should more than make up for those losses with grittier play, and a willingness to go inside to the crease. 

Aaron Forster’s speed will also be a loss, but having Challen Rogers coming out of the front door this year will be another major weapon at Head Coach Matt Sawyer’s disposal.

The explosive core group of Tom Schreiber, Zach Manns, Dan Dawson, and Dan Craig should give opposing teams fits when trying to defend them.

Defense:

The top ranked defense from a year earlier, actually got stronger.  With Brad Kri, and Mitch de Snoo leading the league in caused turnovers, this group will be a punishing group again in 2022-2023.  Josh Jubenville, Adam Jay, Jordan McKenna, and Jamison Dilks all have another year under their belts, add Chris Weier should see more of a regular spot in the lineup.  This group has gained more speed as well as toughness.

Transition has plenty of upside with the addition of Chris Corbeil’s speed, and savvy.  With Latrell Harris, Brandon Slade and Phil Mazzuca to push the ball up the floor quickly, this group should cause havoc to opposing teams, and their benches, surely causing a number of “too many men penalties” throughout the year.

Faceoffs:

For the first time in the team’s history, faceoffs were not a problem last year.  TD Ierlan was everything the Rock could ask for.  As Ierlan got more comfortable in the NLL, he was even able to chip in with a few goals directly off the faceoff.  With Dawick signing TD for three more years, the Rock look to be strong up the middle for the foreseeable future.

Goaltending:

Nick Rose will take care of the bulk of the work, with Troy Holowchuk as his backup. Holowchuk saw some action last year looking impressive. Rose continually puts up numbers that are near, or at the top of the league. This year should be no exception.

The Rock should finish near the top of a very competitive East Division in 2022-2023.

Don’t forget to check us out every Sunday night at 9pm (ET)

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.

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