Bandits Drop Rock
Toronto – Toronto Rock (4-6) have now lost three straight games after dropping a 21-14 decision to the Buffalo Bandits (3-6) on Friday night at Air Canada Centre.
The Bandits opened the scoring but the Rock answered with 5 straight goals to build a 5-1 lead. The two teams traded goals before Buffalo wrapped up the first quarter scoring with a pair of goals. Kasey Beirnes, Colin Doyle and Garrett Billings each scored twice for the Rock who led 6-4 after one.
The Rock had to hold off the Bandits frequent answers in the second quarter as Toronto outscored Buffalo 5-4. The 11-8 halftime lead for Toronto marked just the fifth time this season the Rock led at the half.
Five straight goals for the Bandits to open the second half pushed Buffalo out to a 13-11 lead. The Rock got goals from Stephen Hoar and Colin Doyle to tie the score 13-13. The Bandits potted another pair before the end of the third quarter to take a 15-13 lead heading into the final quarter.
Rock goaltender Matt Roik was pulled in the third quarter in favour of Pat Campbell after allowing the 12th Buffalo goal. Roik re-entered the game in the fourth quarter. Campbell surrendered 3 goals in 8:02 worth of work in the third quarter.
The Bandits scored right off the hop in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and Buffalo didn’t stop. The Bandits went on to outscore the Rock 6-1 in the final 15 minutes with the lone Toronto goal coming from Doyle, his fifth of the game.
Roik and Campbell each ended up sharing time in the Toronto cage in the fourth quarter.
Billings again led the Rock in scoring with 3 goals and 6 assists for a 9-point night. Mark Steenhuis and John Tavares each scored 4 times and added 3 assists apiece for Buffalo.
The Rock will head to Rochester next Saturday night to play their first road game since February 4th.