The Toronto Rock (11-3) clinched a playoff berth with a 12-10 win over the Calgary Roughnecks (3-9) on Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. The road win is the Rock’s 6th victory in 8 tries away from Air Canada Centre.
“Our focus is still to try and grab first in our division,” said Rock Head Coach John Lovell after his team was the first to clinch a playoff spot with the win on Saturday night. “We’ve got a huge game with Rochester next weekend that will likely decide the division.”
The Rock struggled to find their way in the early stages of the first quarter. Calgary scored 3 straight goals to open the game, including a shorthanded marker from Shawn Evans. On the other end of that Rock power play, Kasey Beirnes erased the donut on the Toronto side of the scoreboard, trailing 3-1 after one quarter.
“I think we showed pretty good composure early in the first quarter when we got down and the fans got in it. We managed to stay in the game and close the gap,” said Lovell of his team’s start to the game.
Brett Hickey scored coming off the bench as the Rock transitioned the ball up the floor and then Beirnes netted his second of the game to tie the score 3-3 just over 5 minutes into the second frame. Calgary regained the lead, but only briefly as Sandy Chapman scored for the Rock followed by Hickey’s second of the half to take give Toronto their first lead of the game at 5-4. Calgary’s Dane Dobbie scored his second of the quarter and evened the score 5-5 prior to the halftime break.
After giving up the first goal of the half, the Rock went on their second 3-goal run of the game to surge ahead 8-6. Calgary’s power play kept the game close with a pair of extra man goals, with a Rock tally sandwiched in between, which left the Roughnecks down by just a goal 9-8 at the end of three quarters.
Calgary once again scored the first goal of the quarter, just 26 seconds in, tying the game 9-9. The game remained tied until Jeff Shattler gave the Roughnecks the lead 10-9 at the 8:26 mark. It was another 3-goal run for the Rock that sealed the victory. Brock Sorensen scored the tying goal, Hickey connected for the game winner and Brodie Merrill sunk the insurance marker into an empty net.
Rock goal scorers were Hickey (3), Josh Sanderson (2), Beirnes (2), B. Merrill (1), Sorensen (1), Chapman (1), Kevin Ross (1), Stephan Leblanc (1).
Nick Rose made 41 saves earning his 5th win of the season in the Rock goal. Frankie Scigliano turned in another strong performance for the Roughnecks with 42 saves and picked up the loss for Calgary.