Billings Scores OT Winner in Thrilling Rock Home Opener

The Air Canada Centre hasn’t rocked like it did on Friday night in a few years.  In what can only be described as a climactic start to the night, ended midway through Overtime when Garrett Billings scored on a Toronto Power Play and for the second consecutive week Toronto defeated Boston, this time by an 8-7 final score.

Things started going sour only four and a half minutes in, when Summertime team mates Colin Doyle of Toronto, and Paul Dawson of Boston squared off in a very heated battle.  Doyle cross checked Dawson across the chest in front of the Boston net, and Dawson returned the favour, putting Doyle on his back.  Doyle returned to his feet and the high scoring offensive leader went right back at Dawson who obliged.

Prior to the next start of play Toronto decided to send a message back to the Blazers and both teams ended up with four players dancing, including Dan Dawson, Darryl Veltman, Brendan Thenhaus, and Nick Cotter of Boston, along with Pat McCready, Sandy Chapman, Jeff Gilbert and Creighton Reid of Toronto.  All eight players were ejected from the game.  When the dust had settled, each team was left with 11 players to play the remaining 55 minutes.  

The Blazers held a lead of 2-1 after one quarter, with the Rock leading 4-3 at the half.  Toronto led 6-4 after three, and Boston battled back to tie the game at 7 apiece forcing Overtime.

After the early fisticuffs, the two teams settled in and played lacrosse.  But with 11 total runners, both teams needed to adjust.  Boston played offence with a few players that normally would not be in that end of the floor, while Toronto used a few of their offensive stars in the defensive end and on the man short.  

As the game wore on, both benches were noticeably wearing down and players were playing smarter than they were harder.  There were very few chances being taken, with both teams realizing that they would need their energy for the entire game.

Boston goalie Anthony Cosmo, revered as possibly the best in the World, bounced back with a huge game in net.  Cosmo faced 55 shots on net, while Bob Watson, who also played solid on the night, faced 43 shots.

For Toronto Doyle led the way with 2 goals and four assists. Rookies Stephan Leblanc, and Garrett Billings continued to contribute with (1,5) and (1,3) respectively. Mike Hominuck chipped in two goals, with Kasey Beirnes and Josh Wasson getting one each. Boston’s Mitch Belisle scored twice, with singles going to Gary Bining, Matt Lyons, Darryl Veltman, Brett Queener, and Ryan Hotaling.

Boston will now have to hop on a plane and travel to Philadelphia to play the Wings tomorrow night, while the Rock are next in action at home next Saturday against Rochester.

Other Game Notes:
– Toronto was 3/8 on the PP, Boston was 1/6
– a turning point was a 5 on 3 Power Play for Boston late in the 3rd quarter, that the Rock killed off. Being short on players, Colin Doyle saw a fair bit of time on that PK. The score at the time was 6-4 Toronto.
– Boston had 100 minutes in penalties to the Rocks 85.

Bonus Game Video

Friday’s National Anthem’s were performed by Scott ??? playing his electric guitar at the ACC. He absolutely rocked the ACC with this opening and a special thanks to NLLFAN2008 for capturing it and posting it on Youtube.

Messer and my in game comments and game recap coming soon!



  1. Very nice job on the anthems. I checked out a couple of his other lacrosse related videos but, decided to skip the Clip on the Drag Show. lmao

  2. Related to the game. After sixty minutes and an overtime, I’d have to say that Boston were just flat in game one. Initially I had thought that the Rock had improved a hundred fold. Don’t get me wrong, they have certainly improved, but last night was not a decisive win. With the top three scorers for Boston out, the Rock barely hung on.

    Ryan made adjustments to the pressure D and even garnered results with the limited offense he had left. (with a grain of salt as Toronto lost some solid D) Hard to judge with the opening period, but in my humble opinion if Dawson and Veltman were in, the Rock would have lost that game.

  3. This guys name is scott Zehrick I agree I would love to have this guy all the time , the crowd loved it .

  4. The game was a great game. Toronto showed a lot of heart and glad they sent a message to Boston. The best game I have seen at the ACC in 2 years.

    Ron Messer – you were great on the PA:) Your undefeated record is intact.

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