Rock Honour Laddy; But Cannot Get The Win

Friday night the Toronto Rock honoured long time defender Dan “Big Dog” Ladouceur for his 10 years with the team.  Ladouceur retired earlier this season. But unfortunately the celebration was ruined by a solid effort from the Boston Blazers who took the game 14-13.

Early on, the Blazers jumped out to a 4-0 lead on goals by Matt Lyons, Gary Bining, Jay Thorimbert and Darryl Veltman.  The Rock looked very lost early in the game and struggled to keep up with the Blazers offense.  The Boston offense had a number of scoring chances and cashed in on most of them in the first five minutes of the game.  Jeff Gilbert would score an unassisted goal for Toronto and the first quarter would almost end 4-1 Boston.  But Greg Downing scored on a low shot with .2 seconds on the click to open up the lead to 5-1 after one.

Nine seconds into the second quarter, Chris Driscoll took a pass from Rob Marshall and buried a shot over the left shoulder of Anthony Cosmo to bring the Rock to within three.  Lewis Ratcliff would score on the Power Play to bring Toronto to within two, but then Boston goalie Anthony Cosmo would call a play that caught Toronto off guard.  A goal by Jason Crosbie was reviewed and denied as Crosbie was in the crease when the ball entered the net.  On the ensuing possession call beginning play in Boston’s end, Cosmo saw that Toronto was playing a tight 5 on 5 spread out all over the floor.  Cosmo quickly ran to his bench, allowing a player to enter the floor in his place.  The Boston player in his own end with the ball, quickly moved the ball up the floor, and Boston continually passed the ball to the open man until Darryl Veltman picked up a rebound and scored on a partially open net (Bob Watson had made the first save but diving could not get to the second).  It was a really heads up play by Cosmo that made the score 6-3.  Shortly before half time, Dan Dawson would score on a low shot while driving the net.  It was almost as if the ball had eyes and wanted to go in the net for Dawson.  The score at the half was 7-3 Boston.

After the break, Toronto would come out and do their best first quarter Boston impersonation. The Rock would use special teams to score three consecutive goals of their own to narrow the gap to 7-6. Bill McGlone while shorthanded, Luke Wiles on a Power Play, and Craig Conn would get the ACC crowd back into the game. But shortly after Conn’s goal, Sean Morris and Matt Lyons would restore the three goal lead. Bill McGlone, who might have been the best Toronto player on the night, would score on a pass from Bob Watson. McGlone drove to the net and leaped into the air before depositing the ball around Cosmo. The goal was originally waved off but replay showed that McGlone did not land on his feet until the ball was in the net. The third quarter ended 9-7 for Boston.

Boston would take control to open the fourth quarter. Greg Downing and Dan Dawson (on a Power Play) would score and with only a couple of minutes gone in the fourth quarter Boston had opened up a four goal lead at 11-7. Luke Wiles would score on a feed from Chris Driscoll, before Darryl Veltman would get his third of the night. Veltman went to the net, received a pass from Gary Downing, and put a smart fake on Bob Watson before putting it over Watson’s shoulder. This has been my first time seeing Veltman play in the Pro’s and he certinaly knows what to do with the ball in his stick. He is the real deal, and I see why all the talk of potential Rookie Of The Year surrounds him.

Toronto to their credit would not lie down. The two teams traded a slew of goals in the last 5 minutes of the game, and the Rock were within a few seconds of getting a chance to tie the game very late. Jason Clark would get his second of the game but with only .9 seconds on the clock, there was little that could be done for the tie. The final was 14-13.

Other Game Notes:
– Toronto was 2-4 on the PP, Boston was 1-3
– Toronto outshot Boston 66-53
– This was my first chance seeing Boston live. They are a very athletic and skilled group of players. With vets like Dawson and Cosmo, don’t be surprised if this team makes some noise in their first post season.
– Classy move by Lewis Ratcliff on Jason Clarks first goal. Knowing it was his first as a memeber of the Rock, Ratcliff got the ball for his teammate.
– a funny moment during one break. With all of the promotions etc. going on, one was for two rows of fans to each pass a big cardboard box with Jack Astor’s on it from one end of the row to the other and back. The only stipulation is that every member of the row had to touch the box both down and back. These two boxes ended up 15-20 rows down from where they started and event staff were running the rows trying to get the boxes back to the rows where they belonged. Very funny.
– The Rock made a gmae of it in the end, but could not get the tie to force Overtime.



  1. The final was 14-13, not 14-10.

  2. Did Messer get locked out of the booth? I was sure it was a lock with him up there. Don’t worry Mess, you’re still above five hundred.

  3. Thanks AMLAX, I forgot to change the bottom of the article.

    Boro, yes he was the side guy last night so he is still 2-0. However, he will be doing the final game against San Jose so we shall see….

  4. Where is the sense of urgency for a team desperate to make the playoffs? Yes they competed and kept the game a game within reach. However, if you need to win a game should you not contest every loose ball? Should you not double up on the loose balls to try to force the play? Should you not in the latter stages of the game, forego the offence/defense and actually press the ball with all players after giving up a shot? Make you opposition make a mistake. Don’t let them pick up the ball and setup; they seldom will make a play that will result in a turnover if you don’t press them to do something they don’t want to.

    Force your opponents to play outside their comfort zone. Especially if its a game you need to win!

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