Rock Offence Struggles Continued in Loss to Knighthawks

concerned toronto rock benchThe offensive woes continued for the Toronto Rock(0-2) as they fell 12-7 to the Rochester Knighthawks(1-1) in their home opener at the Air Canada Centre.

The Rock failed to score double digit goals in back to back games for the first time since 2011. Depth scoring has been an issue in the early stages for Toronto thus far as just five different players have found the back of the cage in 2016(Rob Hellyer, Brett Hickey, Stephen LeBlanc, Kasey Beirnes and Jeff Gilbert).

Hickey led the way for the Rock with four points(3G,1A) including a highlight reel dunk from behind the net. Hellyer and LeBlanc trailed closely behind with three points each.

One of the few positive take aways for Toronto’s offence was their play on the man advantage. The Rock finished three for four on the powerplay on the night, improving to five for nine on the season.

For Rochester, Cody Jamieson had a dominating 10-point performance, netting a hat-trick and tallying seven assists. It’s the sixth time the 2014 League MVP has netted double digits in a single game in his six-year-career. The former Syracuse sniper now has 17 points in two games.

Dan Dawson and Craig Point finished with four points each, while Cory Vitarelli, Joe Resetarits and Scott Campbell added three. Both of Vitarelli’s goals were jaw dropping crease dive efforts.

Rochester’s offense was too much to handle for the Rock defence as they gave the KHawks numerous open looks on the crease and back door all night.

Knighthawks’ Rookie Graeme Hossack continued his impressive start to his NLL career on both ends of the floor. The Whitby Warriors Jr.A product has three points in his first two NLL contests and has been a rock defensively. Hossack finished the night with an assist, five looseballs and a caused turnover.

Matt Vinc made 40 saves en route to his first win of the season, while his counterpart Brandon Miller made 33 stops and drops to 0-1 on the year.

Rock Rookie Dan Litner thought he had his first NLL career goal after a quick stick on the crease in the dying minutes of the game. But that was short lived after a review revealed that Litner’s foot was in the crease.

Despite the loss, the Rock outshot the Knighthawks 47-45, won the looseball battle 73-68 and had the faceoff edge(12 for 23).

The Rock open their season at 0-2 for the first time since 2012. Luckily for Toronto, they finished first in the East that year and broke their two-game skid against Rochester. The Rock also lost in the semi-finals to the eventual 2012 NLL Champions, the Knighthawks.

The two teams will meet again this Saturday(Jan 16) at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester,NY.