NLL: Second half surge gives Rock 9-8 win over Rush

A strong second half, powered by Reid Reinholdt’s hat trick, erased a four-goal deficit and gave the Toronto Rock a 9-8 win over the Saskatchewan Rush Saturday night. The win improves the Rock to 7-3, maintaining their hold on first place in the North Division. The Rush remain in first place in the West Division in spite of the loss, but drop to 6-3 on the season.

The Rush’s Ryan Keenan scored the only goal of the first quarter, giving his team the early lead, a lead they would steadily build on over the course of the first half. By the time the teams headed to their respective locker rooms for halftime, Saskatchewan had extended their advantage to 6-2 and they looked to be in control of the game.

Toronto’s offence caught fire in the third quarter, however, with a four-goal run. Dan Craig opened the second half scoring with a dunk shot, followed by Reinholdt’s first and second goals of the game. Scott Dominey tied the game just shy of the 12-minute mark in the third before the Rush’s Mark Matthews finally stopped the bleeding by notching his only goal of the game two minutes later.

The Rock went followed the Matthews goal with a three-goal run to take the lead and then extend it. Saskatchewan sniper Robert Church completed his hat trick at the 5:48 mark of the fourth quarter to bring the Rush back to within one goal, but the Rock shut the door the rest of the way.

Reinholdt finished the game with three goals and an assist, leading the way for Toronto along with Rob Hellyer (1 goal, 3 assists) who also recorded four points. The Rush’s Church paced all scorers in the game with five points (3 G, 2 A).

Toronto’s Nick Rose earned the win with his 40-save performance in net, while Evan Kirk took the loss for Saskatchewan while making 48 saves.

The Rock’s next action is on March 8 when they host the Calgary Roughnecks. The Rush will be looking to get back on track on March 7 when the Vancouver Warriors visit.