The Toronto Rock flipped the script from a week ago, when they gave up the final four goals to lose a one-goal game to Philadelphia. This time, it was the home team hitting the booster jets down the stretch as Toronto scored the final five goals to come back and beat Minnesota 13-12 to move to 3-1 on the season while dropping the Swarm to 0-2. The Rock made the most of their seven power play chances, scoring five goals with the man advantage, although they did give up shorthanded markers to Kiel Matisz and Andrew Watt. Josh Sanderson scored 4 goals and 2 assists and Garrett Billings led all scorers with 2 goals and 6 helpers for the Rock. Stephan Leblanc (3g, 2a) and Colin Doyle (1,4) each had five-point nights for Toronto. Nick Rose was pulled after giving up 11 goals but was perfect the rest of the way after returning 3:33 later.
Matisz led the way for the Swarm with a hat trick and 2 assists while Ryan Benesch scored 2 goals and 3 assists. The Swarm first-rounders made their presence felt in the game. Matisz was the 3rd overall pick. Alex Crepinsek (10th) scored his first NLL goal and had a strong game defensively. Brock Sorensen (2nd) scored his first goal in the league on a beautiful behind the back breakaway shot and Shayne Jackson (4th) chipped in 4 assists.
There were no comeback heroics on the menu in Colorado. Shawn Evans made sure of that by matching the Mammoth’s output with 12 points in a 19-12 Calgary win over the home side. Evans’ 4 goals and 8 assists set a new franchise scoring record for the Roughnecks, who won their first game of the year to move to 1-2. Colorado dropped into a tie for second in the West with Calgary and Edmonton. Dane Dobbie also had 4 goals and added 2 assists for Calgary. Scott Ranger (3,3), Jeff Shattler (2, 5) and Curtis Dickson (3,2) all had 5 or more points.
Gavin Prout was Colorado’s top scorer with 2 goals and 5 assists. John Grant, Jr. (3,2) and Adam Jones (2,3) each contributed 5 points for the Mammoth. The teams combined for 13 power play goals, 7 by Colorado and 6 by Calgary. The Roughnecks also notched 4 shorthanded markers, two by Dickson and one each by Shattler and Daryl Veltman. Twelve of the game’s 14 second-half goals were scored during man-advantage situations.
Washington held off Edmonton 12-10 to maintain first place in the West Division at 3-1. Corey Small scored with eight seconds to play to pull Edmonton within a goal but Kyle Sorensen sealed the deal with an empty-net goal just three seconds later. Lewis Ratcliff had a hat trick and an assist for the Stealth. Cliff Smith returned to his high-scoring ways with a goal and 4 helpers while Kyle Buchanan continued his stellar rookie season with a goal and 3 assists. Tyler Richards returned from a short injury absence and made 37 saves to earn the win. Small had a hat trick and an assist for the Rush. Mark Matthews scored once and added 4 assists.
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