ROCK SIT ATOP EASTERN DIVISION WITH WIN OVER THE H

Toronto, ON - The battle for first in the East heated up in front of 16,372 fans at the Air Canada Centre on February 25th as the Toronto Rock (4-2) faced the Rochester Knighthawks (5-3). A win for Toronto would put them one game ahead of the Knighthawks and into a tie for first with the Buffalo Bandits (5-2). The last time these teams met was in January, when a home-and-home series resulted in Rochester walking away with two wins.

Needless to say, the Rock were out for revenge and executed well in all aspects of the game to win 15-9.

It seemed only fitting that Eastern All-Star captain Jim Veltman scored the first goal of the game. The fired-up Rock bench came out gunning for more and fellow All-Star Blaine Manning soon obliged, burning Rochester goalie Pat O"Toole by burying one in the back of the net shortly after. This proved to be the thin edge of the wedge, as Manning added to his first goal with two more, registering an impressive natural hat trick chasing O'Toole from between the pipes.

The second quarter began much like the first, only faster. Line-mates Doyle, Manning, and Aaron Wilson combined just 25 seconds in, keeping the Rock in control. Meanwhile, Bob Watson made three brilliant saves to keep the Knighthawks offence in check, at one point reaching behind him to grab the ball before it rolled over the goal line. Jim Veltman, Aaron Wilson, Josh Sanderson and Jimmy Quinlan then lit up replacement goaltender Pat Campbell to give the Rock the lead 9-5 at the half.

Aaron Wilson, somewhat inconsistent this season, had a break-out game. The third quarter was marked by an exchange of goals, highlighted by Wilson's shorthanded marker - his 5th of the night. Not to be out-done, Blaine Manning's late goal gave him 8 points in only three quarters.

After a scoreless first five minutes, the teams traded goals again in the 4th, with Rock defenceman Pat Merrill providing the turning point, stealing a Rochester pass and streaking down the floor to beat Campbell with a perfectly placed bounce shot.

With the Buffalo Bandits loss to Philadelphia this evening, the Rock leapfrogged into first place atop the Eastern Division. {Rock top point getters were Blaine Manning (3G, 5A), Colin Doyle (2G, 6A) and game MVP Aaron Wilson (5G).}

The Rock's next home game is Friday, March 4th versus the Buffalo Bandits. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, online at www.ticketmaster.ca , by phone (416) 872 5000 or in person at the box office at the ACC. To take advantage of our special ticket offer quote ROCK SOLID. Check out www.torontorock.com for more details.
 
 

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