NLL: Dawson moves up in history books as Rock down FireWolves at FirstOntario Centre

HAMILTON, ON – DECEMBER 4: Dan Dawson gives Nick Chaykowsky a shove. NLL regular season face-off weekend game action between the Albany FireWolves and the Toronto Rock at the FirstOntario Centre on December 4, 2021 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. (Christian Bender/NLL)

It was a special night in Hamilton as the Toronto Rock transitioned from Scotiabank Arena to FirstOntario Centre on December 4th. Tom Schreiber scored four goals, the Rock scored five times on the powerplay, and Dan Dawson moved up the history books as the Rock downed the Albany FireWolves 10-9.

Albany committed two substitution penalties in the first quarter, the first resulting in a two-man advantage for the Rock. Rob Hellyer grabbed a rebound, cut to the net and scored. Toronto had multiple chances on the powerplay, similar to their third goal of the quarter – from Schreiber, also on the man advantage. He also scored to make it 2-1, taking a hard pass from Dan Craig behind the net and diving from behind the net. Albany’s only chance on the powerplay came thanks to an illegal body check call against Josh Jubenville. Andrew Kew, who scored four times in the game, ripped an outside shot, the second from outside to beat Nick Rose. Kew also beat the clock with the goalie out to finish the quarter leading 4-3.

Dan Dawson opened the second with a shift comprising two beautiful passes and a drawn penalty. On the powerplay, Reid Reinholdt broke in off an Albany eight-second violation. Latrell Harris found him with a pass and the Rock tied the game. Midway through the quarter, Dawson had a goal called back for being in the crease, and Joe Resetarits hit the crossbar. This would be reviewed, but the call was confirmed. Shortly thereafter, Jubenville hit the post on a breakaway. Kew would once again give the FireWolves a late lead when he came streaking off the bench to score. After Schreiber tied it at five with his hat trick goal, it was Dan Craig’s turn to the give the Rock a buzzer beater. Toronto led 6-5 at halftime.

The second half started with an immediate pick-and-roll play from Albany, on which Rose made a spectacular save. On the ensuing rush up the floor, Schreiber fed Reinholdt for a one-time goal. Hellyer scored three and a half minutes into the quarter to give the Rock a three-goal lead, but it was challenged and overturned. The review, which took nearly six minutes, showed Aaron Forster’s foot on the edge of the crease as the shot went in. Following the review, Brad Kri went off for a slash, and Reilly O’Connor snuck out of the corner to convert a perfect no-look pass from Jordan Durston. Albany only trailed 7-6 heading into the final frame.

As with the second, Rose made a big save in the first minute, this time off O’Connor in transition. With Toronto heading back up the floor, Nick Chaykowsky was called for holding. Fifteen seconds into the man advantage Schreiber dove from behind the net again for his fourth goal, and the Rock’s fourth on the powerplay. Nearly three minutes in, Mitch deSnoo caught Tony Malcom up high. DeSnoo was called for a match penalty and ejected. Kew promptly went to work setting up Jacob Ruest for his first goal in an Albany uniform, and scoring his hat trick goal for the second off the major. Kew would give Albany their fourth lead of the game a minute later with an outside sidearm shot. For the second time in the game, Dawson took on three defenders, this time scoring on the crease. He followed that up with the go-ahead goal with two and half minutes to play. Those were goals 527 and 528 of his career, moving him past Colin Doyle for fourth on the NLL’s All-Time list.

The Toronto Rock would hang on the rest of the way to win their first game in Hamilton 10-9. This coming week they visit the Halifax Thunderbirds on Friday evening at 6 p.m.