January 25, 2010
by Laura Bridgman… The Toronto Rock (3-0) beat the Rochester Knighthawks (2-1)at the Air Canada Centre in front of 10,104 fans to remain undefeated.
Rock owner Jamie Dawick announced at the beginning of the game that for every goal Toronto scored, the Rock would donate $1,000 to World Vision for the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. The domination of Rochester totaled a Toronto donation of $17,000.
Toronto goal tender Bob Watson earned game MVP for stopping 45 of Rochester’s 48 shots. Garrett Billings led the Rock with eight points from five goals and three assists.
In goal Pat O’Toole and Aaron Bold combined for 39 saves for the Knighthawks and were led by Shawn Evans with a goal and an assist.
In his first game of the 2010 season Cam Woods scored the first goal of the game followed by defensive teammate Jeff Gilbert. Rookie Garrett Billings struck next to give Toronto the 3-0 lead 5:21 into the game. Mike Hobbins continued to extend the Rock lead scoring the game’s fourth. Billings drained his second and third past Rochester netminder Pat O’Toole for the hat trick even before the first quarter finished, causing the Knighthawks to changed goal keepers in favour of Aaron Bold.
Rochester got on the board to start the second quarter from a Scott Evans goal past Bob Watson. After nine minutes of scoreless play, dominated by defence, Billings scored his tenth goal of the season and fourth of the night. Kasey Beirnes posted Toronto’s eighth and Mike Hominuck the ninth to end the first half with the Rock leading 9-1.
Captain Colin Doyle opened scoring in the second half, bringing Toronto’s donation to the Haiti relief efforts up to $10,000. Shawn Evans scored the Knighthawks’ second goal of the game, but Billings answered back with Toronto’s eleventh goal, his fifth of the night tying his personal professional career best set in Boston on January 9. Pat McCready, in his first full game in a Rock uniform, dropped a shorthanded goal past O’Toole who was back in Rochester’s net. John Grant Jr. finally got past Watson, a wall in Toronto’s net, but Blaine Manning struck with 2:04 on the clock in the third to bring the score to 13-3.
Hominuck scored his second of the night to start the fourth quarter, followed by Beirnes’ second and third to bring Toronto’s tally to 16. #17 Stephan Leblanc was next scoring number 17 for the Rock. The clock would run out leaving the final score 17-3.
The Rock travel to Rochester next weekend to finish their home-and-home series with the Knighthawks. Game time is 8:05 at Blue Cross Arena. The Rock return home to the Air Canada Centre on February 5 when they host the Philadelphia Wings.
January 15, 2010
The Rock (1-0) opened the season last weekend in Boston with a 17-7 win over the Blazers (0-1).
“We’re happy with the outcome of the game, but any veteran in this league knows that Boston did not play the way they wanted to,” said Toronto general manager, Terry Sanderson.
Looking back at the 2009 matchups between Toronto and Boston the first outcome is quite similar. The Rock won in Boston the first time the two teams met. When the Blazers ventured to Toronto later in the season they were victorious in the ACC, a final the Rock don’t wish to repeat.
Leading Toronto in points in the season opener was Captain Colin Doyle who recorded 10 points from one goal, and nine assists.
“It was a fantastic night for Colin,” said Sanderson. “Given enough time he will score, but he has strength in finding open guys to distribute the ball.”
Game MVP Garrett Billings took the lead in goals with five. The Rock’s first round draft pick, who also added two assists in the game, was named NLL Rookie of the Week for the first week of the season for his seven point performance.
Boston was led by Captain Dan Dawson with three goals and two assists. Blazers head coach Tom Ryan was “very disappointed” with his team’s performance in on Saturday.
“I give Toronto a lot of credit, they took it to us,” said Ryan. “We didn’t execute well, and we didn’t put in the effort we needed. We were out loose balled, out played, beat. We can’t expect to just show up and win games.”
Friday’s home opener will be broadcast on TSN2, tape delayed at 10:30 p.m. with Dave Randorf calling the game, Brian Shanahan providing the colour, and host Claude Feig.
Single game tickets for todays game are still available at the Air Canada Centre box office or online through Ticket Master at www.ticketmaster.ca.
December 30, 2009
“I’m taking this very seriously,” said Doyle. “Since I’m re-joining a team that has accumulated so many good leaders it is an absolute honour that the coaching staff chose me to lead all they want to accomplish this season.
“This is a big deal for me; before I left Toronto three years ago this was something I had always hoped would happen.”
For the past two seasons Doyle captained the San Jose Stealth, now the Washington Stealth based out of Everett, Washington.
“He is one of the best leaders we have been involved with,” said Terry Sanderson, general manager of the Toronto Rock of Doyle. “He just carries an air of confidence about himself and how he handles his teammates.”
Doyle will be the third person to ever wear the Rock ‘C’ in the franchise’s 12 year history.
“This team has only ever had two captains in Jim Veltman and Chris Driscoll, which makes the honour that much more special,” said Doyle. “They led their way, but I’m inheriting a different team and I will be a different leader.”
“With Colin it isn’t always about what he says,” said Toronto Rock head coach Troy Cordingley. “He lets his actions speak in the dressing room as well as his words.”
With a roster so full of veteran talent the Rock has named four assistant captains for 2010 with Phil Sanderson and Sandy Chapman will get the ‘A’ at home in Toronto, while Blaine Manning and Pat McCready will have the assistant duties on the road.
“These four guys lead by example,” said Cordingley. “They are character guys who are great in the dressing room. They are guys that will do anything for the team to succeed and the biggest thing for me is that for each of them the team comes first.”
Manning, P. Sanderson, and Chapman have all left their mark in Toronto in years past, and though he’s only in his first season with the Rock, veteran defender Pat McCready is ready to step up with his new team.
“Looking around the dressing room anyone could have taken one of those A’s,” said McCready of the accolade. “It’s a really great honour but to be given it doesn’t really change anything about the way I’ll play; I just go out there, work hard and am a representative of the team as a whole.”
“The four are experienced team players and great supportive teammates,” adds Sanderson. “We had a couple guys tell us that they didn’t need a letter, but they’ve shown over the years of playing in this League they have all the capabilities that warrant one. They have earned the respect of the coaching staff and people need to know how highly their teammates and coaches think of them.”
Doyle and the rest of the Toronto Rock open the 2010 NLL season on Saturday, January 9 in Boston as they take on the Blazers and begin their home schedule of eight games on Friday, January 15 at the Air Canada Centre in the second half of a home-and-home series with Boston.
November 3, 2009
by Laura Bridgman… With training camp scheduled to begin in mid-November, the Rock look forward to the 2010 season under the leadership of 2009 NLL Coach of the Year, Troy Cordingley. Over 135,000 fans watched the Toronto Rock at Air Canada Centre in 2009, a number that is surely to increase as a new and revived Toronto Rock hit the turf come January 2010.
Tickets can be purchased for any of the Rock’s eight regular season home games through Ticketmaster by phone at , online at www.ticketmaster.ca, or in person at the Air Canada Centre box office. The entire 2010 Toronto Rock schedule can be found online at www.torontorock.com.
Season tickets for the entire 2010 Toronto Rock regular season are still on sale. The package includes tickets to all eight home games, a ticket for the first potential playoff game at the Air Canada Centre, a voucher for an additional ticket on opening night, and a voucher for a ticket to any other additional home game of choice.
In addition to the single game and season tickets there are a number of other ticket package selections available to accommodate every fan’s need for choice and flexibility. The Rock offer a 10 ticket flex pack, a four game pack and gondola suite packages. To take advantage of these packages contact the Toronto Rock office at.
The Toronto Rock start the 2010 season on the road on Saturday, January 9 for the first part of a home-and-home series with the Boston Blazers. With the Blazers in tow, the Rock open their home schedule the following weekend on Friday, January 15 at the Air Canada Centre when they host Boston at 7:30 p.m.
October 18, 2009
by Laura Bridgman… For many of us Thanksgiving weekend meant three days of rest and relaxation with the family. But for a group of 59 of Canada’s top lacrosse players it meant five games in three days.
The Team Canada selection camp for the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships in Manchester, England from July 14 to July 24, 2010 took place at St. Michael’s College School in Toronto this past weekend.
The list of 59 invited men will eventually be whittled down to a final 23-man roster that all have their sights set on defending Canada’s 2006 gold medal.
All-around lacrosse All-Star Brodie Merrill remembers the 2006 victory as something that he will cherish for the rest of his life.
“It was an awesome experience,” boasts Merrill. “We were the under dogs and it had been so long since Canada had won gold.
“Right when the team got together in London it just felt right, like something special was going to happen. Being on Canadian soil, and with the group of guys that we had, there was a belief from the beginning that we were going to win.”
Even with the numerous awards, championships and records under Merrill’s belt he’ll never assume he has a guaranteed spot of Canada’s roster.
“Regardless of where you are on the pecking order, or what you have done in the past, you can’t get comfortable,” said Merrill. “You always have to prove yourself and prove that you can contribute and be a good teammate and be part of a team that will go on to win a gold medal.
“There has been a lot of development on the defence side of the ball; this is a lot more competitive than the last tryout.”
Merrill’s summer teammate on both the Toronto Nationals and Brampton Excelsiors, Phil Sanderson, agrees.
“The competition is real tight,” said Sanderson. “There are a great bunch of young guys and a lot of experienced older guys trying out this weekend.”
Geoff Snider, 2006’s tournament MVP knows what a difficult task the coaches have ahead of them.
“It is an honour to be invited out again and be amongst the talent at these tryouts,” said Snider. “I wouldn’t want to be in the coaches’ shoes right now; they’ve got their work cut out for them.”
In order to help the coaching staff with the Herculean task of trimming the roster, the invitees were challenged to five scrimmage games.
The prospects faced-off against each other twice on Saturday, October 10 in Red versus White scrimmages.
On Sunday they boarded buses early and drove to Orchard Park High School in Buffalo, New York to face the Notre Dame Men’s team. The Fighting Irish were no match for their Canadian competition with the boys in red coming out on top in both matches, 12-9 and 11-7.
Monday found the guys on the field at St. Michael’s one last time, showing their skills for Head Coach Dave Huntley. He watched alone from the sidelines as his assistants took charge of the benches.
“I really enjoy playing for Dave,” said Merrill. “I just love his approach to the game and he is a Canadian guy that has had playing and coaching success in the field game.
“He’s a perfect fit for the program, and a great leader. The guys have complete confidence and faith that he is going to make the right decisions and lead us to another championship.”
With the weekend finished the only thing to do now is wait. The roster will begin to be cut down this week, but final decisions aren’t expected until July in order to keep opposing teams guessing.
“I expect a lot from this team,” said Snider. “We have a lot to live up to being the defending world champions.”
“The challenge now is to go back and repeat,” echoed Merrill.