Manning named game MVP after 10 point game
TORONTO – The Toronto Rock remain undefeated at home with a 16-7 win over the Edmonton Rush at the Air Canada Centre tonight. Before the game Rock owner Jamie Dawick along with NLL Commissioner George Daniel honoured Rock Captain Colin Doyle for reaching the 1,000 regular season career point milestone.
Blaine Manning was named game MVP for the second game in a row and led the Rock with five goals and five assists. Bob Watson recorded the win in Toronto’s net stopping 27 of 34 shots. The Rock advance to 6-1 recording their best season start in franchise history.
Matt Disher and Brandon Atherton split time in Edmonton’s net making 35 saves on 51 shots. Scott Stewart led the Rush with four points.
Edmonton’s Brodie Merrill opened the game’s scoring but Kasey Beirnes tied it up three minutes in. Blaine Manning sunk back-to-back goals past Matt Disher to give the Rock the lead. Rookie of the Week, Stephan Leblanc was the next to net two for Toronto’s fourth and fifth of the night. Edmonton decided to change goalies in favour of Brandon Atherton to end the quarter 5-1.
Gavin Prout scored to start the second, followed by Toronto’s Garrett Billings. Prout scored again on Bob Watson followed by teammate Scott Stewart. Defence would control the rest of the second quarter until Leblanc brought Toronto’s tally to seven with one minute remaining in the half.
The second half started like the previous two quarters with a Rush goal, this time from Andy Secore. Five minutes into the third, Rob Marshall flew down the turf on a breakaway to get his first goal of the season. Manning struck again with back-to-back’s followed by Leblanc. Edmonton switched goalies again, putting Disher back in between the pipes. Manning struck again, his fifth of the night. Rock rookie Brendon Doran scooped a loose ball as he came flying out of the penalty box to score. Stewart netted the next for Edmonton followed by Secore.
The fourth was dominated by Toronto, with a goal from Beirnes and a pair from Colin Doyle. Watson shut out Edmonton in the final quarter and the game ended 16-7 in favour of the Rock.
The Rock hit the road tomorrow to play the Calgary Roughnecks, the 2009 NLL Champions, at Pengrowth Saddledome on Sunday. Fans can watch the Valentine’s Day match up live at 6:30 p.m. ET on TSN2.
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