Professional lacrosse returned to Montreal’s Bell Centre on Saturday night as the Toronto Rock defeated the Rochester Knighthawks 14-10 in front of 7,269 fans. It was the first NLL game in Montreal in a decade as the Express operated for just one season in 2002.
The Rock and Knighthawks each had one player on their roster tonight that was selected from the Quebec Lacrosse Showcase in mid-November. Toronto’s selection, Mark Kirby from Kahnawake, PQ opened the scoring early in the first quarter to put the Rock up 1-0. The two teams traded goals back and forth leaving thingssquared at 2-2 after one quarter. Garrett Billings had the other Rock goal.
Billings wasted little time scoring his second goal of the game just over 30 seconds into the second quarter. Stephen Keogh and Cory Vitarelli scored a pair of quick answers to give the Knighthawks their first lead of the night 4-3. From there, the Rock rattled off five straight goals to lead 8-4. Rochester scored shorthanded before the end of the half as the Rock carried an 8-5 edge into the break.
Despite a plethora of scoring opportunities for both teams, there wasn’t any scoring until Scott Evans put Toronto up 9-5 with just under four minutes to play in the third. Rochester scored three straight to close out the scoring in the quarter, shaving the Rock lead to 9-8.
The Rock wasted little time getting rolling in the final quarter as they scored the first four goals of the fourth to lead 13-8. Three of those four goals came from the stick of Scott Evans to run his total to four goals. He saved his best for last as his fourth goal was a no-look, between the legs finish from the top of the crease that brought the Bell Centre crowd to their feet. Each team scored once in the later stages to make the final 14-10 Toronto.
Toronto outshot Rochester 51-44. Scott Evans led the goal scoring parade for the Rock with four and Garrett Billings found the net three times. Stephan Leblanc chipped in with a pair.
Toronto’s final exhibition scrimmage of the pre-season will be on Saturday, December 22 at 7pm against the Philadelphia Wings at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC). The game will be broadcast live on select TVCogeco and Rogers TV stations throughout the province. Check your local listings for availability in your area.
Toronto Rock Single Game, Group and Season Tickets for 2013 are on sale now. For ticket inquiries, please call 416-596-3075 to speak with a ticket representative or visit www.torontorock.com.Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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