Rock’s Stingy Defense Stops FireWolves

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

The Toronto Rock (10-3) welcomed the Albany FireWolves (2-9) to Hamilton’s First Ontario Centre for the first of two meetings this month.

Challen Rogers was placed on the Injured Reserve List with an upper body injury suffered in Monday’s loss to Philadelphia.  The Rock were also without defender Mitch de Snoo for the fourth straight game as he continued to rehab a lower body injury suffered in the Rock’s Feb. 10 game at Georgia.

Tom Schreiber has been nothing short of a beast this season.  Currently, the forward leads the Rock with 80 total points on the year, and ranks third overall in the NLL.  Schreiber leads his club in goals (34) and assists (46) as well.  Corey Small may be 23 total points behind Schreiber, but he has put together a respectable season with 57 points on a nearly even 28 goals and 29 assists.  He ranks second on the club in total points and goals, and sits third on the team in assists. 

For Albany Jake Fox was acquired just days before Albany’s last game a week ago.  Fox has now played eight games this year between Panther City and Albany and has scored five goals along with three assists.  The FireWolves have struggled to score to this point in the season, so Albany will certainly lean on Fox to assimilate to the offense quickly and be another weapon.  Thomas Vaesen is another player the team will look to for some instant offense down the stretch.  Like Fox, Vaesen has the ability to be another threat to score on any possession and can become another weapon in Albany’s arsenal as they continue to gel and figure out their offense.

The goalie match-up had Doug Jamieson in net for Albany facing Nick Rose in net for the Rock.

The Albany FireWolves were able to keep up to the Toronto Rock for 35:00 minutes of the game.  During this time, the FireWolves were outshot almost at a 2:1 ratio, but were tied 6-6.  Toronto’s defense were stingy the rest of the way, not allowing another FireWolves goal on the night.  For the Rock, Stephen Keogh (4g,3a) and Dan Craig (3g,0a) were the big scorers. 

Doug Jamieson was spectacular in the Albany net making 52 saves in the game, but came out on the losing end of a 12-6 final score.

To The Game:

Toronto opened the scoring shorthanded in transition.  Josh Jubenville went coast to coast, faking a pass, beating Doug Jamieson at 3:17. Albany came back when Corson Kealey converted on a Kieran McArdle rebound at 5:22, followed by John LaFontaine in quick transition off a long lead pass from Colton Watkinson at 10:16.

After one quarter, Albany 2 Toronto 1.

Second Quarter:

Albany opened the second quarter scoring with Hiana Thompson grabbing a rebound off a reset, throwing a behind the back shot that beat Nick Rose at 1:03. 

The Rock got back on track with Stephen Keogh firing a low shot to the far corner off a Tom Schreiber pass at 3:16, followed by Schreiber himself converting a Marley Angus feed from the outside at 5:43 to tie the game.  Stephen Keogh scored his second of the quarter firing a laser that beat Jamieson off a Tom Schreiber pass at 8:07.  Dan Craig added a power-play goal off a Dan Dawson feed at 11:47 to open a two goal lead. 

Colton Watkinson cut the lead in half going coast to coast in transition off a Brett Manney pass with just 0:42 seconds left in the half.

At the half, Toronto 5 Albany 4.

Third Quarter:

The Rock opened the third quarter scoring with a blast from the outside from Dan Craig off a Dan Dawson pass at just 0:27 seconds.

John Piatelli converted a Tanner Thomson pass at 9:10, then tied the game when Thomson himself scored at 10:53 off a Kieran McArdle pass.

From this point on, the Rock defense was stifling, not letting the FireWolves back on the scoresheet the rest of the game.

Stephen Keogh scored his third of the night sliding to the centre of the floor firing a howitzer to the top right corner off a Tom Schreiber pass at 12:54, followed by Adam Jay going coast to coast in transition off a rebound, shooting high to low at 14:19.

After three quarters, Toronto 8 Albany 6.

Fourth Quarter:

Corey Small opened the fourth quarter scoring off a rebound from a Stephen Keogh behind the back shot at 5:26.  Phil Mazzuca recreated his goal from last week going in all alone off a Latrell Harris pass.  A fake, then top shelf shot increased the Toronto lead to 10-6 at 7:46. 

Dan Craig scored his third of the night converting a Stephen Keogh feed at 8:21, followed by Keogh scoring his fourth of the night off a Tom Schreiber pass at 11:26.

Final score, Toronto 12 Albany 6.

Cool Bet Player of the Game – Stephen Keogh.

The Three Stars:

  1. Stephen Keogh
  2. Dan Craig
  3. Brad Kri

Game Stats:

  • Toronto badly outshot Albany 62-31
  • The faceoff battle was dominated by the Rock 17-5.
  • The loose ball battle went to Toronto 84-48.
  • Albany went 0 for 5 on the power-play.
  • Toronto went 1 for 3, also scoring a shorthanded goal.

Top Scorers:

Albany FireWolves:

  • Tanner Thomson 1g, 2a
  • Kieran McArdle 0g, 3a
  • Colton Watkinson 1g, 1a

Toronto Rock:

  • Stephen Keogh 4g, 3a
  • Tom Schreiber 1g, 5a
  • Dan Craig 3g, 0a

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.