Bandits Edge Swarm; Rock Prevail; Mammoth Drop Opener

The Rock specials teams were the story to open the second half, taking advantage of a 5-minute major for roughing assessed to Calgary's Nolan Heavenor. Toronto cashed for 3 power play goals in the quarter, however Calgary scored 3 goals of their own with one coming on the man up. Toronto held the same three-goal edge they had to finish the first half, leading 10-7.

The Evans brothers, Scott for Toronto and Shawn for Calgary, each scored for their respective clubs early in the final quarter as the two clubs continued their back and forth battle. Curtis Dickson and Geoff Snider scored for the Roughnecks to make it a one-goal game midway through the frame.

Veteran Kasey Beirnes answered the bell and restored Toronto's three-goal edge with a pair of goals. Colin Doyle played a part in setting up both tallies as a part of two magnificent passing plays. Calgary scored once more, however the Rock closed the door in the final moments to hang on for the win.

Beirnes' 3 goals and 2 assists along with Doyle's 5 assists led all Rock point getters. Garrett Billings chipped in with four assists and Stephan Leblanc and Josh Sanderson each scored a pair of goals for Toronto.

Nick Rose made 44 saves for the win and is now 6-1 all-time in the regular season as a member of the Toronto Rock. Mike Poulin went the distance in goal for Calgary stopping 35 shots in the losing effort.

Toronto has a quick turnaround as they travel to Edmonton to face the Rush on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm ET. The game can be see live online at nll.com.

Rock defender Damon Edwards left the game in the first half and did not return. He will be re-evaluated prior to Sunday's game in Edmonton.

The Rock will open the home portion of the 2013 schedule on Saturday, January 19th at Air Canada Centre at 7:00 pm against the Philadelphia Wings.

* * * *

DENVER In a game of runs, the Washington Stealth got the last laugh on HealthONE Field at Pepsi Center on Saturday night. The Colorado Mammoth dropped its season opener to Washington, 17-13.

Leading 10-8 entering the third quarter, Washington forward Dean Hill scored a natural hat trick. Forwards Lewis Ratcliff, Rhys Duch and Cliff Smith put the game out of reach. The Stealth outscored the Mammoth, 6-0, in the stanza to take a commanding 16-8 advantage.

Colorado tried to claw back in the final frame, cutting Washington's lead in half thanks in part to a five-minute elbowing penalty on rookie Tim Henderson. But it wasn't enough.

"You dig yourself in a hole. It's hard to get back out," said transition player Richard Morgan, who had a goal and an assist in his Mammoth debut. "As the game went on, we got better. Momentum was going our way, but it was just too late."

With 11 seconds remaining in regulation, Colorado defenseman Chet Koneczny and forward Sean Pollock got into a fight with Washington's Curtis Hodgson and Matt Beers. Eight seconds later, Mac Allen went to blows with Stealth rookie Justin Pychel.

"We're not going to lie down that's for sure," said Mammoth goaltender Matt Roik. "There's a lot of fire, there's a lot of tenacity, there's a lot of heart in this room. We've got a chip on our shoulders. We're definitely not happy with the results of what happened tonight."

Reigning NLL MVP John Grant Jr. paced Colorado with three goals and three assists. Cliff Smith shined in his return to the Mile High City, netting four scores and three helpers.

The Stealth had scoring runs of six, four and four, while the Mammoth scored four straight twice in the game.

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2013-01-13



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