Toronto Improves To 5-2 On The Season
Rochester, NY – The Toronto Rock (5-2) defeated the Rochester Knighthawks (2-5) by a score of 10-6 in a tight defensive battle on Saturday night at Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena. The win also gives the Rock the season series; two games to one over the Knighthawks and the tie-breaker should the two teams end up even in the standings at season’s end.
Toronto’s defence and goaltending were superb and bounced back after a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Georgia Swarm at home, a night earlier. After last night’s loss, Rock head coach Matt Sawyer noted his team needed to have a short memory and rise to the challenge of playing back-to-back nights coming off of a defeat.
“We responded well and we were able to get the win on the road. The first half wasn’t the best and we were fortunate to come out with the lead,” said Rock head coach Matt Sawyer. “We call that a team win. Guys stepping in and stepping up has been a familiar theme. We plug three guys into the lineup, and that gave us a shot in the arm. We got four goals between Caputo and Reinholdt and a great night from Buczek. Our backbone has been our defence and Rosey is our MVP. For the back end to play that well, having to play on back to back nights and do it on the road was very impressive.”
Backbone is our defence and Rosey is our MVP, from them to play that well in back to back nights on the road, just an impressive effort on the night.
After eluding the check of a Rock defender, Rochester’s Dan Dawson opened the scoring early in the opening quarter. Five minutes later, recently activated Phil Caputo took a pass and snuck right up the middle and placed the ball in the bottom corner to even the score 1-1. Rochester’s Cory Vitarelli scored on the power play, giving the Knighthawks a 2-1 lead after the first quarter.
The Rock’s Tom Schreiber opened the second quarter scoring, firing a shot through the legs of Rochester goalie Matt Vinc, tying the game 2-2. Dawson gave the Knighthawks the lead back on a one-handed, underhand shot that got by Rock goalie Nick Rose. Toronto’s power play connected with just over two minutes left in the half to once again tie the game. Moments later, Brett Hickey ripped a low shot by Vinc, giving the Rock their first lead of the game at 4-3 going into halftime.
Reinholdt went hard to the goal just over two minutes into the second half and scored while falling down, with a Knighthawks defender draped over his back extending the Rock lead to 5-3. Rochester finally got back on the board after going 19:51 without a goal to draw to within one at 5-4 before the end of the quarter.
Kieran McArdle scored just 16 seconds into the fourth quarter to put the Rock up 6-4, but the Knighthawks answered that tally just 68 seconds later with a transition goal from Brad Gillies. Following several great chances at both ends, Hickey found just enough room over the shoulder of Vinc to give the Rock another two-goal lead with 6:27 to play. Rochester wouldn’t go down without a fight, cashing in on a powerplay with 3:46 left in regulation. Caputo fired home the insurance marker with just under three minutes to play and Schreiber connected for his second of the game on a penalty shot with under a minute left. From there, the Rock defence continued the strong play they showed all night and Nick Rose not only closed the door in the late going to preserve the road win, but he also connected for an empty net goal, the second of his career.
Caputo, Hickey, Schreiber and Reinholdt each scored twice for the Rock, while McArdle and Rose had singles. Rose made 42 saves for his fifth win of the season.
Toronto’s next home game will be Star Wars Charity Night benefitting the Smilezone Foundation on Friday, March 3. For tickets, please call 416-596-3075 or visit torontorock.com.