Rock Sweep Weekend, Clinch Playoff Spot

Gary Groob

Lax Philly – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Toronto Rock (10-5) took on the San Diego Seals (9-4) at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, ON in front of 8,450 fans.  The Rock were in action last night and posted a huge 13-9 road win over East rivals Georgia.

This is just the third meeting ever between the Rock and the Seals. The Rock have won each of the previous two meetings. 

Old home week:

The entire Seals coaching staff, made up of Pat Merrill, Josh Sanderson, and Bill Greer, all played for the Toronto Rock. Merrill (03, 05, 11) and Sanderson (05) won championships during their playing careers with the Rock.

Playoff Picture:

With a win on Saturday night, the Seals could be the first team in the West Division to clinch a playoff spot. San Diego currently sits in first place in the West with a division-best 9-3 record.  A playoff berth is within reach for the Rock as well.  A win over San Diego tonight, combined with a New York loss either Saturday against Philadelphia or Monday against Colorado and the Rock will clinch a spot in the postseason.

The goalie match-up had Nick Rose in net for Toronto vs. Frank Scigliano in net for the Seals.

Toronto was missing two huge offensive pieces in their structure…both Dan Dawson, and Rob Hellyer were listed as physically unable to perform in this game.

Although San Diego got out to a 2-0 lead, a six goal performance from Dan Craig propelled the Rock to a 14-7 victory over the Seals.

To the game…

Austin Staats (1g,4a) opened the scoring for San Diego with a quick stick off a Brett Hickey pass at 1:48.  Wes Berg (2g,2a) increased the lead on a rebound from behind the net at 9:40.

The game had a definite edge to it, with a parade to the penalty box more and more prevalent as the quarter went on.

The Rock finally got on the board on the power play, when Zach Manns (1g,2a) fired a laser past Frank Scigliano off a Tom Schreiber pass at 13:05, and then tied the game up on a Dan Craig (6g, 0a) conversion of a rebound off the back glass at 14:13.

After one quarter, Toronto 2 San Diego 2.

Second Quarter:

San Diego opened the second quarter scoring when Casey Jackson (3g,0a) converted a Dane Dobbie pass from the top of the crease at 0:27 seconds, but Aaron Forster (2g,1a) got it back on a beautiful shot off a Brandon Slade pass in transition at 3:18.

Toronto took a series of penalties on the play (Forster for goalie interference, Kri for unsportsmanlike conduct), but when play resumed, the Rock scored  a couple of shorthanded goals. Mitch de Snoo (1g,1a) scored unassisted at 3:42, followed by Dan Craig with his second of the night off a Tom Schreiber pass at 5:34, making the score 5-3 for the Rock.  The Rock continued their run when Aaron Forster scored his second of the game off a Challen Rogers pass at 7:57.

The rest of the quarter was exciting end to end action which yielded no goals, but kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

At the half, Toronto 6 San Diego 3.

Third Quarter:

San Diego opened the second half scoring on a delayed penalty call when Zach Greer (1g,1a) fired a shot from the outside off a Wes Berg pass at 4:09.  The Rock stormed back at 7:50 when Latrell Harris (2g,0a) scored in transition unassisted to give Toronto their three goal lead once again.

The Seals kept pressing, with Wes Berg  beating Nick Rose through the five hole off a Brett Hickey pass at 8:59, then on a coaches challenge, San Diego brought the game within one goal when Casey Jackson scored diving from behind the net at 11:00. 

Toronto got back on the board on a beautiful passing play between Latrell Harris and Tom Schreiber, with Harris finishing at 14:35 for his second of the night.

After three quarters, Toronto 8 San Diego 6.

Fourth Quarter:

Brandon Slade (1g,1a) opened the fourth quarter scoring in transition for Toronto at 2:37, once again giving Toronto a three goal lead.  Tom Schreiber (1g,6a) fired a gorgeous low to low shot to the short side beating Scigliano off a Zach Manns pass at 7:52, followed by Dan Craig firing a howitzer to the shortside off a Tom Schreiber pass at 8:23 making the score 11-6 in favor of the Rock.  Toronto kept pressing and were rewarded when Dan Craig scored his fourth of the night on the power play converting a Challen Rogers pass at 9:36.

San Diego replaced Frank Scigliano with Chirs Origlieri. 

Origlieri was baptized on his first shot with Dan Craig’s fifth goal of the night off a Tom Schreiber pass at 9:59. 

With 4:18 left, the Rock gave Nick Rose, who played spectacular the last two nights, a rest.  Backup Riley Hutchcraft was sent in to finish the game for Toronto.

The Rock kept pouring it on with Dan Craig scoring his sixth goal of the night off a Challen Rogers pass on the power play at 11:30. 

San Diego stopped the Rock’s seven goal run when Casey Jackson converted a Dane Dobbie pass at 13:42, but it was too little too late.

Things deteriorated at the end with a number of fisticuffs.

Final score, Toronto 14, San Diego 7

The Three Stars:

  • First Star……………Dan Craig
  • Second Star……….Nick Rose
  • Third Star…………..Latrell Harris

Game Statistics:

  • Toronto outshot the Seals 61-48
  • The faceoff battle was won by the Rock’s TD Ierlan 16-8.
  • San Diego went 1 for 3 on the power play.
  • Toronto went 3 for 7 on the power play, scoring two shorthanded goals.
  • The Rock had a slight advantage in loose balls 77-74.

Top Scorers:

San Diego Seals:

  • Austin Staats 1g, 4a
  • Wes Berg 2g, 2a
  • Casey Jackson 3g, 0a

Toronto Rock:

  • Tom Schreiber 1g, 7a
  • Dan Craig 6g, 0a
  • Challen Rogers 0g, 5a

San Diego’s next game is at home Friday, April 8th against the Philadelphia Wings .

Next week, the Rock will travel to Rochester to face the Knighthawks on Saturday night April 9th at Blue Cross Arena.

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.