NY Titans Continue To Haunt Toronto Rock

Rock - Titans Friday March 14/08Every lacrosse team has one of those opponents that continue to be a thorn in their side every time they play. I’m convinced for the Toronto Rock, theirs is the New York Titans. Having entered the league in 2007, the Titans have played the Rock four times. After winning the fouth contest last night at The Air Canada Centre 14-10, the Titans have captured three of the four wins in this series.

If a fast start is key to winning a lacrosse game, then New York did what they had to do, scoring three times in the first 2 1/2 minutes. Toronto fans had to wait 7 1/2 minutes into the game for their first chance to cheer.

This game was eerily similar to the contest in Toronto on January 26. New York seemed to have the upper hand again early last night, but Toronto looked as though they might make a run in the third quarter scoring a couple consecutive goals. But after Chris Driscoll made it 9-7, the Titans scored the next three and the game was never in serious jeopardy for them after that.

Matt Vinc was solid in net stopping 51 of 61 shots he faced, and I believe was the difference last night. Toronto, although they had 61 shots, did not get a ton of real quality scoring chances and Vinc was there to respond when they did. New York however, was able to get a number of goals from their transition game, utilizing their speed. Offensively, they also created themselves opportunities.

A key moment in the game; after Toronto had scored (Ryan Benesch) to close the gap to 6-5 in the 2nd quarter, Patrick Merrill took a 5 minute high sticking penalty.  Just 28 seconds into the penalty, Jarret Park scooped a ball in his own end and was off  to the races.  Park scored a short handed goal to make it 7-5, and Toronto never capitalized on the remainder of the five minute advantage.

Other game Notes:

– Ryan Boyle led all scorers with 4G, 2A, Jordan Hall 3G, 2A, Pat Maddalena 1G, 5A
– Josh Sanderson had 3G, 3A, Ryan Benesch 3G, 2A, Blaine Manning 1G, 4A
– A few players today might be looking for an updated rule book. There were some calls that had many players going to the box with a peculiar look on their faces. I’m with them……
– Jamie Hanford controlled the faceoff circle and many times Jarret Park ended up with the ball…we’ve seen that before
– John Orsen opened the scoring taking the ball from his own end, right down the middle of the floor, as the seas seemed to part for him….he also ended the scoring with an empty netter
-Toronto never held a lead during the entire game

Game recap video and a post game interview with Matt Vinc is below:

[livevideo id=CA8D28F42B10455CB6FBA12BAA940987]

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5 Comments

  1. The comment on Matt Vinc being the difference was bang on. It is difficult to be criticial of a goaltender who has bailed out his team so often and is recognized as one of the top tenders ever in the NLL but something needs to be said. Bob Watson is one of the all time best goaltenders in tight. However he has always been suspect on the outside shots. Surely there has been some testing done with his vision.
    When a goaltender lets in a goal for long range it deflats a teams momentum and there is a history here. I can’t understand why when its obvious that he isn’t near the top of his game why the coach doesn’t recognize what everyone else has and make the replacement. I understand that you give a veteran his due and some slack to pick up and make a recovery. But when an obvious need for a change isn’t done it sends a message to all the team that the rules are different for different players. That can’t happen. coach Clarke played with passion and he obviously coaches with passion.
    But passion needs to be coupled with hard choices for the team as a whole and the choice should have been made to change goaltenders and show the whole team that its all about tonight’s results.

    I do also agree about the officiating. #45 looked as if this was the first lacrosse game he was seeing and he saw it different than anyone else.

  2. Dave,

    While I agree that sometimes difficult choices have to be made by a Coach, I think I disagree with you here. I am most respectful of all goalies as in my opinion, if all the players were doing their jobs, we wouldn’t need a goalie at either end….:)

    In my opinion, Bob Watson has been the MVP of the Rock this season. Unfortunately, he did not have a great game Friday night, where he pretty much has all season. I would suggest that if he were not in goal this season Toronto “might” be out of contention now.

    A change might have made a difference but I’m not sure. I think sticking with him was a positive signal to the team that it was not his fault (and I do not think it was). It may have also been a shot in the arm he needs to keep playing the way he has this season.

    The problem is that a goalie is the last line of defence so his mistakes have the most noticeable effect on the team. But looking at a number of the goals New York scored, I would say more were wide open in front of the net opportunities, than were the long shots you refer to.

    I agree a “weak” goal must deflate a team, but how deflated must a goalie feel when a player loses his check and that offensive player is now bearing in on the goalie uncontested?

    Glad I wasn’t the only one that thought the officials looked a little lost…..

  3. Another great job guys. I liked the Vinc interview. Keep up the good work.

  4. I agree that the officiating was questionable. When you leave a game remembering more of what the ref did and less of what both teams did, the official did not do his job.

    Oh, and Marksy owes Grey Goose a beer for ditching us while we waited for him at Lord Stanley’s 😛

  5. Oh, and in the Whipper’s defense, I think that Ladouceur was really letting his man beat him quite a bit. I don’t know about anyone else, but IMHO he’s starting to look a bit old and tired. I think a defensive breakdown on more than one occasion was the deciding factor in more than one shot finding the mesh.


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