Bandits Top Mammoth; Rock Fall to Knighthawks

TORONTO,ON The Toronto Rock (4-7) were defeated 17-12 by the Rochester Knighthawks (8-3) on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. After building a 9-5 halftime lead, the Rock were victimized by an 8-goal run that proved to be too much to recover from.

The Rock struck early in often and Colin Doyle was the man leading the way for Toronto, scoring twice in the opening 15 minutes. Rob Hellyer also chipped in with a pair of goals as the Rock led 6-3 after one.

An early power play gave the Rock even more first half momentum with a goal coming just 18 seconds into the frame. Doyle completed the first half hat trick and the Rock led 9-5 at the break. Rochester starter Matt Vinc was chased from the goal and replaced by Angus Goodleaf.

Rochester scored the first 7 goals of the third quarter and made it an 8-goal overall after having scored the final goal of the first half. Toronto only mustered a single goal in the quarter and were outscored 8-1 overall as the Knighthawks led 13-10 at the end of three quarters.

The fourth quarter didn't prove to be much better for the Rock as the visiting Knighthawks continued to put goals on the board. Overall the Rock were outscored 12-3 in the second half.

Three members of the Rock recorded hat tricks as Doyle, Hellyer and Billings all connected. Rob Marshall, Stephan Leblanc and Josh Sanderson all scored once each.

Next up, the Rock travel to Minnesota on Sunday for 6:00 pm game against the Swarm.

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DENVER One week ago, the Colorado Mammoth was able to overcome a 5-0 deficit en route to a home victory. On Saturday night in Buffalo, the Mammoth found itself down 5-0 again. Despite leveling the game at seven late in the third quarter, Colorado couldn't manage another come-from-behind win and ultimately lost to Buffalo, 12-9.

"It's two games in a row we've done that now," said Coach Pat Coyle, referring to the early discrepancy. "It puts pressure on us that you can actually see guys tighten up every goal and it feels like 'Here we go again!'. We just need to come out faster and it's up to Dan [Stroup], Chris [Gill] and me to figure out what we need to do to make that happen."

For the first 24 minutes of the game, Colorado was held scoreless. Then, forward John Grant Jr. netted the Mammoth's first goal. It was the one of Grant's four on the night, and one of three for him on the power-play.

"When we were moving the ball like we've been practicing, the offense looked good," said Coach Stroup. "It gets a little stale if we don't do the things we've been practicing."

Joey Cupido's shorthanded goal in transition late in the fourth quarter was Colorado's only score from the crease area. The other eight tallied by the Mammoth were from the outside.

"Those are things we have to work at as a team getting better opportunities," said Stroup.

Rookie goaltender Dillon Ward kept Colorado in the game as it clawed its way back to a 7-5 deficit. A five-minute boarding major by Buffalo's Dhane Smith opened the door for the Mammoth, and Grant's two power-play goals in a span of 33 seconds evened the score at seven. But the Bandits answered back. Buffalo's John Tavares scored with less than two seconds left in the third to give his team a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

After a bye next weekend, the Mammoth returns to HealthONE Field at Pepsi Center on Sat., Mar. 29 at 7:00 pm MT to take on the Philadelphia Wings on Western Night.


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