Rock’s Transition Carry Toronto To Victory

Gary Groob
Lax Philly – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Rochester Knighthawks (3-12) looked to snap out of their six-game slide as they welcomed the Toronto Rock (11-5) to Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena in front of 4, 117 fans.

Toronto has of the most dynamic offensive units in the NLL with Tom Schreiber, Dan Craig, Rob Hellyer and Dan Dawson. Defenseman Challen Rogers has led a powerful Rock transition game.  With TD Ierlan on faceoffs, who has continued his dominance this season, leading all rookies and ranking fourth overall with 199 face-off wins along with a 61.8% success rate coming into this game, the Rock have become a dominant team in the NLL.

The Knighthawks came into the weekend owning two of the NLL’s top scoring rookies in forwards Ryan Smith and Charlie Bertrand, who had combined for 77 points.  Joining them was the offensive power of Holden Cattoni, Curtis Knight, Turner Evans, and Thomas Hoggarth, allowing the Knighthawks the ability to keep up with any offense in the NLL. 

Rylan Hartley was back in the net for the Knighthawks facing Rock goalie Nick Rose.

Although the Knighthawks were in control for a good portion of the game, a good solid second half from the Rock propelled them over Rochester for the 11-9 victory.

While the offense wasn’t clicking at 100%, the Rock’s transition game was firing on all cylinders, scoring six goals in this contest.  Nick Rose made 41 saves for the victory.

To the game…

The Knighthawks jumped out to an early lead when Ryan Smith (3g,1a) converted a Dan Coates pass at just 0:26 seconds into the contest.  Dan Dawson (1g,1a) tied the game unassisted at 1:10, but Smith scored his second of the game at 2:43 to give Rochester the lead once again.

Dan Coates (1g,1a) increased the lead for the Knighthawks scoring his first goal of the year on a breakaway unassisted at 7:15.  Tom Schreiber (2g,2a) got one back for Toronto when he converted a Reid Reinholdt pass at 12:51.

Ryland Rees (2g,0a) scored unassisted for the Knighthawks at 13:04, but Challen Rogers (2g,1a) got it back for the Rock, scoring at 14:09. The assists on the goal were given to Tom Schreiber and Dan Dawson.  

That assist for Dawson gave him 935 career assists, and made him the all-time assists leader in NLL history, passing John Tavares.

After one quarter, Rochester 4 Toronto 3.

Second Quarter:

Rochester jumped out to a three goal lead with goals from Jeff Wittig (1g,1a) at 2:16, followed by Curtis Knight (1g,0a) at 3:04.

Things got chippy soon after, with Bill Hostrawser taking on Tyler Biles.

Dan Craig (2g,0a) scored for Toronto off a Tom Schreiber pass at 5:50, followed by Sheldon Burns (1g,1a) scoring a shorthanded goal off a Latrell Harris pass at 7:32.  The Knighthawks scored on the same power play, as Holden Cattoni  (1g,1a) beat Nick Rose off a Jeff Wittig pass at 8:13.

Although the action went end to end the rest of the quarter, it didn’t yield any goals.

At the half, Rochester 7, Toronto 5

Third Quarter:

Ryland Rees gave the Knighthawks a little bit of breathing room, scoring unassisted at 2:24.  Tom Schreiber converted a Latrell Harris pass at 5:57 to bring it back to a two goal game, followed by Mitch de Snoo with a great individual effort, scoring unassisted at 12:52.

After three quarters, Toronto 8 Rochester 8.

Fourth Quarter:

Ryan Smith scored his third of the game for the Knighthawks converting a John Wagner pass at 3:10 to give Rochester the lead once again, but Latrell Harris (2g,3a) converted a long lead pass from Nick Rose in transition at 9:10, tying the game up once more.

Challen Rogers scored what turned out to be the game winner at 12:06.  Rogers’ shot went through Rylan Hartley’s five hole, just squeaking across the line.  Dan Craig added an empty net goal at 14:27, and this game was over.

Final score, Toronto 11 Rochester 9.

Dan Dawson on his historic night…

“It’s a testament to the amazing players I’ve played with over my career,” said the always humble Dawson about making NLL history. “I’m just lucky to have played an amazing game for so long with so many great people.”

Quote courtesy of the Toronto Rock

More Milestones:

Nick Rose passed Rock goalie coach, and former teammate, Brandon Miller on a couple of NLL all-time lists. At the 38 minute mark, Rose passed Miller for 9th on the all-time goalie minutes list. And, with his 21st save, which came in the third quarter, he also passed Miller for 8th on the all-time goalie saves list.

Knighthawks Post Game Comments:

Three Stars:

  • First Star…………Ryland Rees
  • Second Star……Tom Schreiber
  • Third Star……….Ryland Rees

Game Statistics:

  • Toronto outshot Rochester  53-50
  • TD Ierlan dominated on faceoffs going 16-24 for the Rock.
  • Rochester won the loose ball battle 83-63.
  • The Rock went 0-1 on the power play, but scored a shorthanded goal.
  • Rochester went 1-3 on the power play.

Top Scorers:

Toronto Rock:

  • Latrell Harris 2g, 3a
  • Tom Schreiber 2g, 2a
  • Challen Rogers 2g, 1a

Rochester Knighthawks:

  • Ryan Smith 3g, 1a
  • Rylan Rees 2g, 0a
  • Holden Cattoni 1g, 1a

Toronto’s next game is at home to Halifax, Saturday, April 16th.

Rochester’s next game is in New York vs. the Riptide, Saturday, April 16th.

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.