On Saturday night the Toronto Rock play their second pre season game as they face off against the defending 2013 NLL Champion Rochester Knighthawks.
As the regular season draws closer the Rock have begun to cut their team down as they have released 6 players so far including Scott Evans, Bradley Kri, Alex Lubczuk, Eric Pitre, Roger Vyse and Mike Hobbins. So with this matchup against the defending champions it is a great opportunity for players to make their mark on the head coaches in order to help preserve a roster spot.
All eyes will be on Ethan O’ Connor the first round draft pick of the Rock in 2013. The Rock have big expectations for O’Connor and he needs to prove that they are right. If he can find success on the floor against the Knighthawks do not be surprised when he makes the opening day roster.
This is also an opportunity for the Rock to work on their defense as they were sloppy in their first preseason game giving up 12 goals. The defense needs to be tighter as they cannot rely on their offense to score ten plus goals every game.
In net it will be a battle of top class goalies as Nick Rose faces off against Matt Vinc. Both of these goalies are phenomenal and it will be interesting to see who plays better in this preseason game. Rose if he wants to secure his number one spot just needs one good performance this pre season because it is unlikely unless Zak Boychuck steps up that Rose will lose his number one position. With that being said if Rose struggles against the Knighthawks it could open the door for Boychuck.
While people say preseason does not matter this game will help set the tone for this year’s rivalry between the Knighthawks and the Rock as they battle it out in the east. The Rock will have their first opportunity to stop the power house offense of the Knighthawks led by Cody Jamieson and Dan Dawson. If the Rock can hold off these two players it would be a huge win for their defense.
In the end this is a great preseason matchup for the Rock as it will allow them to see how the matchup against arguably the top team in their division. It also allows the Rock to analyze what they need to do in order to beat the Knighthawks in the regular season.