The Rock Maul The Warriors In Lopsided Victory

Gary Groob

Lax Philly – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Toronto Rock (8-4) took on the Vancouver Warriors (5-6) at Rogers Place in Vancouver, BC. This was the only meeting this season between the two teams. 

Toronto’s explosive offense should match up well with the Warriors, who had been lighting it up all season as well. 

Mitch Jones, Logan Schuss, and Keagan Bal have been steady as usual for Vancouver.  Though Jones is on the Injured list at the moment, new faces of Kyle Killen, and Adam Charlambides have been pleasant surprises stepping up to enhance an already potent Warriors squad.

Toronto countered with one of the top offensive units in the league.  Tom Schreiber, Dan Dawson, and Rob Hellyer have led a squad that have been firing on all cylinders most of the year.  Even though Dawson was put on the Injured Reserve List for this game, the Rock had plenty of fire power.  Dan Craig, Reid Reinholdt, and Zach Manns have been terrorizing opponents all season, add to that one of the stingiest defenses in the league, and this game would peak the interest of any lacrosse fan.

Interesting Stats…

At 54.09 shots per game, the Rock lead the league in that category. That’s just over 7 more than the Warriors at 46.90. However, the two teams are producing almost the exact same number of goals per game with Toronto at 11.27 and Vancouver at 11.3.

Vancouver has the third best power play in the NLL, but they are first in the league at home at 55.6%. The Rock are 11th in the league on the road at 42.1% with the man advantage.

A number of  Rock players had extra incentive in this game.  Reid Reinholdt, Zach Manns, Adam Jay, as well as Captain Challon Rogers are all from the west coast.

The goalie match-up had Nick Rose in goal for the Rock, While Vancouver countered with Steve Fryer.

Although it took a while for the Rock to get rolling, once they started they kept the momentum up defeating the Vancouver Warriors soundly, 14-5.

To the game…

Vancouver got on the board first when Reilly Loewen (1g,0a) scored off a Matthew Dinsdale pass at 3:40.  After a lot of end to end action, the Rock finally evened the game up with under a minute left when Zach Manns (1g,0a) converted a Dan Craig pass at 14:18.

After one quarter, Toronto 1 Vancouver 1

Second Quarter:

Rob Hellyer (5g,4a) gave the Rock the lead when he converted a Dan Craig pass at 1:05, followed by a Tom Schreiber (3g,2a) increasing the Rock lead with a laser shot low to high off a Rob Hellyer pass at 2:31.  Hellyer increased the Toronto lead with a similar shot to Schreiber, low to high shortside, off a Schreiber pass at 4:37.

The Warriors made a goalie change, bringing Alex Buque in to replace Steve Fryer.

Mitch de Snoo (1g,1a) welcomed Buque to the game scoring in transition when he converted a Dan Craig pass to the top corner at 6:28. 

Kyle Killen (2g,1a) got Vancouver back on the board when he fired a long outside shot to the far side post off a Justin Salt pass at 9:58, but Rob Hellyer got it back when he scored his third of the night to the far side off a Dan Craig pass at 12:46. 

At the half, Toronto 6 Vancouver 2.

Third Quarter:

Toronto started the third quickly when Rob Hellyer scored his fourth of the night converting a Brad Kri pass in transition at 0:54 seconds.  Adam Jay (1g,0a) increased the Toronto lead to 8-2 when he converted a Latrell Harris pass at 6:29.  Tom Schreiber scored his second of the night on the power play off a Rob Hellyer pass at 10:30, followed by Dan Craig (1g,4a) scoring off a Rob Hellyer pass just 0:30 seconds later.  Tom Schreiber scored his third of the night from the outside off a Brad Kri pass at 12:05.

Vancouver made another goalie change, bringing back Steve Fryer in the Warriors goal.

Rob Hellyer scored his fifth goal of the night all alone at the top of the crease shoveling it in at 14:54.

After three quarters, Toronto 12 Vancouver 2.

Fourth Quarter:

After being held scoreless for 24:45, Vancouver finally got on the board again when Keagan Bal (1g,1a) scored off a Logan Schuss pass at 4:43. 

Challon Rogers (1g,1a) picked the top corner off a Rob Hellyer pass at 8:44, followed by TD Ierlan (1g,0a) scoring his first NLL career goal just 0:07 seconds later off the faceoff unassisted.  

Reid Bowering (1g,0a) scored on the power play for the Warriors off a Matthew Dinsdale pass at 10:57, followed by Kyle Killen also scoring on the power play firing a howitzer at 12:51.

Final score, Toronto 14 Vancouver 5.

“You could tell the boys were determined on the front end and the back end, the coaching staff was dialed in all week, we love coming out here to the west coast and it was a full team effort,” said Rose.  “I gotta make some saves when the team needs it and I felt good early and then it carried out through the rest of the game.”

Quote courtesy of the Toronto Rock

The Three Stars:

  • 1st Star Rob Hellyer
  • 2nd Star Nick Rose
  • 3rd Star Kyle Killen

Game Statistics:

  • Shots on goal were in favor of the Rock 54-37.
  • Faceoffs were in favor of Toronto 17 of 22.
  • Toronto went 1 for 3 on the power play, while Vancouver went 3 for 5 on the power play.

Of note:

The Rock’s Dan Dawson was set to break two NLL records in this game, but was placed on the Injured Reserve List earlier in the day. The 40-year-old veteran was set to break the NLL’s all-time games played record, passing John Tavares. He is also just two shy of setting a new NLL all-time assists record, also currently held by Tavares. The Rock next play on Saturday, March 26 at home, where Dawson will get his opportunity.

Toronto has a bye week next week.

Vancouver head to Colorado next Friday, March 18th to face the Mammoth.

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.