Jekyl and Hyde At The ACC Last Night

Toronto - New YorkWell it was an eventful night Saturday night in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre to say the least.  I received an offer to check out the Toronto – New York game courtesy of my buddy, New York Assistant Coach Paul Stewart.  So similar to last year I decided to check out tonight’s contest, and took one of our site sponsors with me to the game.  Unlike last year however, I did not film or get a ton of pictures.  Rather I decided to sit in the press box on this night, and actually watch the game from there.  What a night it was!

The Toronto Rock were looking for their first win ever against the young and surging New York Titans in front of 14,142 lacrosse crazed fans.  The Titans entered the league last season and swept the Rock in their only two meetings; the second of which was the last game of the 2007 regular season in Toronto, and was captured in our story…A Day In The Life. 

Early on in the game it was as though only one team’s bus had arrived to play lacrosse.  The Titans looked to have all the energy, dominating literally every aspect of the game.  It was as lopsided a game as I’ve seen in a very, very long time.  New York held leads of 4-1 after a quarter and 8-3 at half time, and were clearly the better team. 

Statistics typically are a good indication of how a game is going.  To illustrate the carnage at half time; New York was 11-13 on faceoffs (leaving the Rock 2-13), and 3-5 on the Power Play, while Toronto was 0-4 with the man up.  Goaltending was not really an issue as Bob Watson and Matt Vince were both playing well given the scoring chances by both teams, the Rock just looked disinterested, and lethargic (with maybe the exception of Chris Driscoll).

Toronto - New YorkQueue the third quarter, and time to change costumes.  Toronto came out a completely different team and in the first four minutes of the 3rd frame, and were inspired by four goals from four different scorers, as well a crowd pleasing big hit by Dan Ladouceur.  For the first time, New York appeared to be back on their heels, and it was about to get worse for them.  The Rock had an energy that was some time coming, but was in full force, and they had the crowd back in their favour again.  The house was rocking. 

The Rock ultimately scored seven in a row before the Titans scored their first in the second half (Jeff Ratclife, with 10:20 left in the game).  Casey Powell tied the game shortly after and I thought we were in for a great finish.  But 48 seconds later, Ryan Benesch scored his fourth of the night, and Toronto went on another quick scoring spree, netting the final four markers on the night.  Make the final Toronto 14 and New York 10.

This game tonight was a reminder of just how quick this game can change.  New York had complete control and in a span of less than 4 minutes to begin the second half Toronto was within a goal.  The home crowd and some inspired play, got them back into the game and the ultimate victory.  All too often this season I’ve seen huge leads evaporate in the second half of games, and as I’ve mentioned recently, I believe the parity of teams across the league this year has a lot to do with it.  You can’t let up for a second!


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