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The Rochester Knighthawks (2-4) visited the Toronto Rock (3-3) at the First Ontario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario on Saturday night.
Both teams have been inconsistent this season, and were hoping that this game would turn their season around for the better. A battle of the Dawson brothers was at hand, with Paul (captain of the Knighthawks) battling Dan (star forward of the Toronto Rock). Rochester boasts a strong offense with Shawn Evans, Curtis Knight, Ryan Smith, and Charlie Bertrand while a mostly healthy Rock squad countered with Zach Manns, Rob Hellyer, Tom Schreiber, and Daniel Craig. The goalie matchup in this game was a battle of Orangeville Northmen. Nick Rose was in net for Toronto, while Rylan Hartley was in the Knighthawks cage.
Once again due to Covid-19 restrictions, the game was played to an empty arena.
A magnificent game by Tom Schreiber with six goals was a big reason for the Rock victory. Rochester gave the Rock all they could handle, but in the long run, Toronto prevailed 12-8.
To the game…
The Rock got on the board first on a 4 on 4 play. Zach Manns (1g,3a) took a Dan Craig pass and fired a howitzer from the outside catching the top corner at 4:58. Dan Craig (2g,3a) increased the lead to 2-0 on a delayed penalty call when he fired a Dan Dawson pass also to the top corner at 7:56.
Rochester mounted a number of chances, but the Rock defense was absolutely on point to start this game. Toronto kept the Knighthawks to the outside, having them take low percentage shots continually.
Dan Dawson (3g,2a) took advantage of Rochester penalty troubles, scoring a power play goal off a Zach Manns pass at 8:50, making the score 3-0.
The Knighthawks finally got on the board on a two man advantage. Turner Evans passed to Shawn Evans (2g,0a) scoring at 12:15, but Tom Schreiber (6g,0a) got it back for the Rock on a rebound from a Rob Hellyer shot at 13:29.
After one quarter, Toronto 4 Rochester 1.
This is the first time all year that the Rock had the lead after the first quarter.
Ryan Smith (2g,3a) opened the second quarter scoring for the Knighthawks with a beautiful wrap around move from behind the net at 1:33. Shawn Evans narrowed the lead to just one goal when he scored on the power play low to the short side at 6:53, but Tom Schreiber gave the Rock a two goal lead once again converting a bounce pass from Rob Hellyer at 7:11.
Ryan Smith scored again for the Knighthawks on a great individual effort diving across the crease putting it past Nick Rose at 12:33, but Tom Schreiber, with his third of the night, scored from the outside beating Rylan Hartley off a Rob Hellyer pass at 13:03.
At the half, Rock 6 Knighthawks 4
Shots on goal 30-28 in favor of Rochester.
TD Ierlan was 8 of 12 on the faceoff for Toronto.
Rochester opened the third quarter scoring when Curtis Knight (2g,3a) fired an outside shot on Nick Rose at 0:59 seconds, then followed that up by scoring again to the short side tying the game at 5:31.
Tom Schreiber then put the Rock on his back scoring his fourth and fifth of the night. Schreiber’s fourth was from the top of the crease off a Rob Hellyer pass at 6:26 , then his fifth of the night was to the top corner just 0:18 seconds later off a Zach Manns pass. Dan Dawson added to the Rock lead with a quick stick goal off a Justin Scott pass at 12:44.
After three quarters, Toronto 9 Rochester 6.
The Rock opened the fourth quarter scoring when Dan Dawson scored his third of the night on the power play off a Challon Rogers pass at 6:00, and increased the lead when Dan Craig scored his second of the night off a Rob Hellyer pass at 8:48. Rochester got one back when Turner Evans (2g,3a) fired a shot from the outside beating Rose low to the far side at 10:31, and scored again on the power play at 13:59. Tom Schreiber finished the game scoring, completing his sock-trick with an empty net goal at 14:49.
Rochester battled valiantly in the last few minutes, but a solid Rock defense, and timely saves from Nick Rose sealed the victory.
Final score, Toronto 12 Rochester 8
“We were a determined group here tonight. We’re happy with our defensive effort but we know that’s the standard.”
“I have to give our goalie coach Brandon Miller some credit. He worked on some key things with me over the last two weeks and I think those little things we went through really made a difference tonight,”Nick Rose – Goalie of the Toronto Rock …Quotes courtesy of the Toronto Rock
Shots on goal favored Toronto 54-53
TD Ierlan went 18 for 24 on the faceoff for the Rock.
Rochester was 3 for 5 on the power play
The Rock went 2 for 5 on the power play.
The Three Stars:
1st Star Tom Schreiber
2nd Star Nick Rose
3rd Star Dan Dawson
Ryan Smith 2g, 3a
Turner Evans 2g, 3a
Curtis Knight 2g, 3a
Rob Hellyer 0g, 7a
Tom Schreiber 6g, 0a
Dan Dawson 3g, 2a
Rochester’s next game is at the Key Bank Center in Buffalo facing the Bandits on February 5th.
Toronto’s next game is at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, facing the Wings on February 5th.
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 10 years ago. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob had 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).
Mr. Groob 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.