Saturday, February 19, 2011

Game Report: Toronto 13 Rochester 6

By Graeme Perrow

I was not at the Blue Cross Arena for tonight's Rock-Knighthawks rematch, so I watched it on nll.com. I've said it before, but major kudos to the NLL for streaming every game live. The picture and audio quality was great, and there were only a couple of network interruptions. The Rock - Knighthawks game is now over and I'm watching the Boston – Minnesota game, and the picture quality is just as good. It ain't HD by any stretch, but certainly watchable and you can't beat the price.

Anyway, the Rock have definitely thrown off whatever curse may have been on them in Rochester. After winning only one game in Rochester ever, they've now won twice there this season. Once again, the Hawks just couldn't get anything going. They scored a single goal in each of the first three quarters before "exploding" for three in the fourth. Matt Vinc was downright average, looking even less like the reigning Goalie of the Year than last night. Given that Cody Jamieson seemed pretty pissed in the first quarter and that Shawn Evans tried to pull helmets off both Watson and Phil Sanderson in the fourth and the fact that the Hawks were in danger of getting blown out by the same team two nights in a row, there was surprisingly little chippiness. The Rock took advantage of penalties on both sides, scoring four power play goals and two shorthanded goals – with both shorthanded goals coming less than 40 seconds apart on the same penalty. The Rock's two shorthanded goals were two more than Rochester scored during Toronto penalties.

Nice to see Mike Hasen and Jeremy Hollenbeck inducted into Knighthawks Hall of Fame before the game.

First quarter

  • Stephen Hoar on a breakaway – didn't look like that hard a shot but froze Vinc. 1-0 Toronto
  • Rochester fans starting the "Watson... Watson... Watson.... you suck!" a few minutes before their first goal. At that point, no Knighthawk had scored on Watson in well over 30 minutes going back to last night.
  • Shawn Williams scores with less than a minute remaining in the quarter to tie it at 1
  • Rochester fans get Knightingales. Toronto fans get Iggy.

Second quarter

  • Nice passing resulting in a power play goal by Leblanc – 2-1 Rock
  • Jarrett Davis goes five hole to tie it up at 2
  • Kasey Biernes dives across the goal mouth to put the Rock back up by 1. Leblanc is given credit for the goal, though I was sure it was Biernes. Perhaps I was mistaken. Update: I was, but so were they. The goal was later awarded to Billings.
  • Kasey Biernes on the PP with a one-timer past Vinc – Rock 4-2
  • Manning passes from behind the net to Leblanc who buries it to put the Rock up 5-2
  • Jeff Gilbert scores on an empty net, beating Matt Vinc sliding into second base across the crease right at the end of the half – Rock up 6-2

Third quarter

  • Mike Hobbins scores on a shorthanded breakaway. Awesome. 7-2 Toronto
  • Another defender shorthanded goal, this time by Stephen Hoar. 8-2 Rock
  • Mike Accursi from Shawn Evans – 8-3 Rock
  • Garrett Billings goes to his favourite place – top shelf. 9-3 Rock
  • Pascas scoops up a loose ball, feeds to Manning who has all kinds of time to decide how to score. Rock ahead 10-3
  • Rochester fans starting the "Watson... you suck" chant again right after their goalie lets in a goal. Um, it's 10-3 people.
  • Nice goal by Pascas called back, presumably because his toe was in the crease. Awfully close, but I can't say they were wrong
  • Another nice diving-across-the-crease goal by Leblanc – 11-3

Fourth quarter

  • Former Rock Scott Campbell with a transition goal opens the scoring in the fourth – 11-4
  • Another Rochester goal – Mike Accursi hits the top corner. 11-5
  • Creighton Reid answers for the Rock – 12-5 Toronto
  • Shawn Evans tries to start something with a Rock defender (Sanderson I think) and they both end up in the crease in front of Watson. Evans ends up grabbing Watson and pulling his helmet off before dropping on top of Sanderson and trying to pull his helmet off. He gets 2 for facemasking and 2 for roughing. No penalty for being a douchebag.
  • Garrett Billings scores Toronto's fourth PP goal of the night. 13-5
  • Shawn Evans comes out of the box and scores after a nice move on Bryan. He's still a douchebag. 13-6 Toronto.

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