Rock Clinch East Title; Wings Fly by Swarm

Toronto The Toronto Rock(10-5) defeated the Rochester Knighthawks (6-7) by a score of 10-9 at Air Canada Centre on Sunday afternoon. The Rock clinched the East Division title and home floor advantage throughout the divisional playoffs without the services of captain Colin Doyle who was at his wife's side as she gave birth to the couple's third child, another girl for the Doyle family.

The Rock stormed out of the gate building a 3-0 lead just past the midway point of the opening quarter. Rochester would get their offence going, but the Rock also kept things rolling and led 5-3 after 15 minutes on the strength of a pair of goals from Garrett Billings.

The two teams traded goals in the early going of the second quarter and that would be all the scoring until Toronto's Josh Sanderson scored with less than 2 minutes remaining in the half and to give the Rock a 7-4 lead.

Rochester chipped away at the Rock lead in the third quarter outscoring the Rock 2-1 in a tightly contested frame. The Rock still led, but now by just a pair, 8-6 after three quarters.

Toronto scored the first two goals of the final quarter to build a 10-7 lead early. Rochester answered back with one and then Dan Dawson scored with just over a minute to go with the goalie pulled to make it a one-goal game at 10-9 in favour of the Rock. That was as close as Rochester could get despite a couple of great opportunities in the final minute.

Kasey Beirnes (3 goals, 3 assists) and Garrett Billings (2 goals, 4 assists) each had 6-point games to lead the Rock scoring parade.

The Rock will wrap up their 2013 regular season schedule next Saturday, April 13th in Philadelphia against the Wings.

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(April 7, 2013)...The Rochester Knighthawks dropped a one-goal decision to the Toronto Rock on Sunday afternoon at the Air Canada Centre. Despite the 10-9 loss, the Knighthawks (6-7) remain in second place in the East Division.

Down 10-7 in the fourth quarter, Joel McCready and Dan Dawson cut the deficit to one. Rochester had the last possession with just over five seconds left, but were unable to get a shot on goal and send the game into overtime.

The Rock took a 3-0 to start the first quarter. Garrett Billings scored two consecutive goals, the latter on the power play with a behind-the-back shot, to extend Toronto's lead to three. Dawson and Joe Walters responded with a goal each only 25 seconds apart. Cody Jamieson made it a 4-3 game with 2:27 left in the first quarter, but Stephan Leblanc scored the last goal of the first to take a two-goal advantage.

Rochester's only second-quarter goal was scored by Johnny Powless at 4:00. He caught goaltender Nick Rose off guard with a faked shot, then buried the ball over Rose's far shoulder. Powless' goal was sandwiched between Rock scores from Rob Hellyer, which went in off the stick of Stephen Keogh, and Josh Sanderson.

The Knighthawks outscored the Rock in the third quarter 2-1. Cory Vitarelli scored 59 seconds into the period. After a Roger Vyse power-play goal, Powless scored his second and Rochester trailied 8-6.

The Rock outshot the Knighthawks 54-42 and held Rochester scoreless on three power plays. Goaltender Matt Vinc made 44 saves and Jamieson led the offense with five points (1+5).

The Knighthawks go back-to-back next weekend in Alberta on Saturday, April 13th in Calgary at 9:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 14th in Edmonton at 4:00 p.m.

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The Philadelphia Wings bounced back from their loss in Rochester on Saturday night with a 15-13 victory over the Minnesota Swarm at Wells Fargo Center Sunday afternoon. The victory improves the team's record to 6-8 on the season as they remain in third place in the NLL's East Division.

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2013-04-07



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