Toronto Rock falls to Halifax
The Toronto Rock will eventually clinch a playoff spot but a loss in Halifax on Saturday have hurt its chances of a home playoff game.
The Rock would have clinched that post-season spot but will have to wait until next Saturday’s game in Albany for another chance. Toronto was below standard all evening in a 14-12 loss to the Halifax Thunderbirds, who are in a playoff battle of their own. The Rock stayed in the game with some key transition goals but defensively, it had a difficult time with the athletic Thunderbirds’ lineup. The loss drops the Rock to 10-4 and back to third in the NLL east behind the Buffalo Bandits, who faced the Colorado Mammoth later in the evening, and the Rochester Knighthawks, who will take on the Philadelphia Wings on Sunday. The Thunderbirds (6-7) and Wings are in a battle for the fourth spot in the division.
A low-shot by Eric Fannell that got past the feet of Rock goaltender Nick Rose broke a 10-10 tie early in the fourth, giving Halifax a lead it would not relinquish. Zach Manns brought the Rock to within one at 13-12 but Ryan Terefenko sealed the game by taking a rebound and casually slipping in into the empty net. The Thunderbirds got a boost from goaltender Warren Hill, who made 40 saves and Jake Withers, who dominated TD Ierlan in the faceoff circle all night.
Chris Boushy led the Thunderbirds with three goals, two in the second quarter. Fannell scored twice as did Ryan Benesch, Clarke Pettersen, and Randy Staats. Colton Armstrong and Dawson Theede got one each.
Dan Craig continued his excellent season for the Rock with a four-goal performance at Scotiabank Centre including his 100th career NLL marker. Corey Small and Tom Schreiber scored two goals each. Latrell Harris, Sheldon Burns and Stephen Keogh also scored for Toronto. Defender Greg Downing, acquired earlier this week from the Albany FireWolves, had a regular shift in his first game for the Rock.