Toronto, Calgary, Washington Pick up Friday Night Wins

Toronto, ON The Toronto Rock (3-1) rallied to defeat the Minnesota Swarm (0-2) on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre by a score of 13-12 in front of 10,503 fans.

Minnesota opened the scoring but the Rock scored four of the next five goals to lead 4-2 at the end of one quarter. Toronto's back end came through with a pair of goals as defender Jesse Gamble and Bill Greer each cashed in for the Rock.

Toronto surrendered the first four goals of the second quarter and the Swarm jumped out in front 6-4. The Rock battled back with a pair to tie the score 6-6 with Kasey Beirnes scoring on the powerplay and Josh Sanderson tallying at even strength. Minnesota regained the lead late in the half to lead by a goal 7-6 at the half.

The Swarm stormed out of the gate building their lead with a pair of goals just 1:15 into the third quarter. Minnesota wouldn't relinquish their grip on the lead and led by as many as four goals just past the 11-minute mark of the frame. The Rock put a dent in the Minnesota lead scoring twice down the stretch, trailing 12-10 heading to the final fifteen minutes.

The Rock started the fourth quarter with a 2-man advantage and connected on both ends of the powerplay to tie the score 12-12. The Rock broke the tie with 6:02 to play on a goal from Stephan Leblanc.

Nick Rose was pulled for 3:33 in the third quarter giving way to Zak Boychuk, but returned to the goal and slammed the door shut for the entire fourth quarter.

Garrett Billings posted an 8-point night, scoring 2 goals and adding 6 assists. Josh Sanderson scored four times and posted two assists for a 6-point game.

The Rock will play travel to Rochester Saturday to face the defending NLL champion Knighthawks. Saturday's game will be broadcast live on TSN2 and TSN Mobile TV at 7:30 pm ET.

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TORONTO, Ont. The National Lacrosse League's (NLL) Minnesota Swarm (0-2) lost 13-12 against the Toronto Rock (3-1) Friday night at the Air Canada Centre in front of 10,509 fans. The Swarm led for the majority of the game and had a 12-10 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. However, a 5-0 run by Toronto to finish the game was the difference.

There was a lot of excitement around the Swarm's four first round picks at the start of the 2013 season and Friday night they all delivered.

Rookie Kiel Matisz, a 6-foot-5 Ontario native, scored five points (3 g, 2a) to nab a hat trick. Matisz's initial goal came in the fourth minute of the game and was the first of his NLL career.

After the game Matisz said, "It was definitely nice to score in front of family and friends. As an offensive transition player I always like to get a couple of goals, but I also like to contribute on defense and that's more what I'm looking to do."

Equally huge on and off the court was 6-foot-6 Rookie Brock Sorensen, whose goal midway through the third quarter gave the Swarm a 10-7 lead. The Ohio State product stole the ball from a Toronto Rock player, passed up to F Ryan Benesch, darted up the field to receive the pass from Benesch, and scored a behind-the-back goal that could be described as SportsCenter Top-10 worthy.

Fellow rookies Alex Crepinsek and Shayne Jackson were steady contributors as well. Despite being a defender, Crepinsek scored a goal in the second quarter off of a Matisz assist. Jackson had plenty of assists himself on the night, finding teammates time and time again to finish with four.

Veteran forwards Ryan Benesch and Callum Crawford were reliable for Minnesota as usual, scoring two goals apiece. Benesch leads the team in points after two games of action with 12 (6g, 6a). Crawford is the next-highest scorer on the Swarm with 9 points on the year (4 g, 5a).

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2013-01-26



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