Rock Continue To Struggle vs. Titans

Titans hand Rock first home loss of 2010

You can change the location of the team, but the Orlando Titans still possess one of, if not the biggest teams in the National Lacrosse League. And Orlando used that size, along with some stellar netminding from Matt Vinc to continue their winning ways vs the Toronto Rock. The Saturday nigh clash at the ACC ended with the Titans handing the Rock their first home loss of the season by a 16-12 score.

Toronto opened the game scoring two goals about half way through the first quarter, and held Orlando scoreless through 15 minutes. But Orlando exploded for an eight goal second quarter, scoring no less than five with under three minutes to play. The Titans held an 8-5 lead at halftime.

Toronto opened the third quarter with a couple of quick markers to pull to within 8-7. But that was as close as they would get on this night as Orlando would have another offensive outbreak to start the fourth quarter, scoring four times less than two minutes into the frame.

It was quite and entertaining game, but a very different Rock team than Toronto fans have been used to seeing this season. The normally quick and “in your face” defense seemed to struggle to keep pace with Orlando’s offensive players. Stars Casey Powell, Pat Maddalena, Ryan Boyle and Jordan Hall had their way for much of the night using their speed to get open and drive to the net. Meanwhile Matt Alrich really used his size well in the offensive end and it paid off.

Ironically, defensively the Titans were able to keep the Rock stymied. The normally freewheeling high flying offense was physically handled for the most part. The Peyser brothers, Greg and Stephen along with John Orsen, Pat Merrill, and Rory Smith were in Toronto’s face for much of the night.

Matt Vinc played very well for Orlando stopping 52 of 64 shots fired at him. Bob Watson did not have his most stellar game of the year, stopping 26 of 40 shots he faced. Watson was briefly replaced by Steve Dietrich in the fourth quarter and stopped 1 of 2 shots he faced.

Casey Powell led Orlando with 4 goals and 5 assists. Other scorers were Matt Alrich (3G, 1A), Pat Maddalena (2G, 4A), Ryan Boyle (2G, 3A), Jordan Hall (1G, 5A). Singles went to Bill Greer, Pat Merrill, Mat McLeod, and former Rock player Chad Thompson.

Leading the Rock offensively was the normally defensive minded Sandy Chapman with 3 goals. Chapman spent a fair bit of time in the offensive end and it paid off. Colin Doyle, Garrett Billings, Stephan Leblanc, and Mimke Hominuck all had two goals, while Kasey Beirnes had one.

Toronto has now lost their last three games and is 6-4 on the season. Next up, they are at home Friday March 12 against the Buffalo Bandits.

Other Game Notes:

– Toronto was 4/7 on the PP, Orlando was 4/5
– goal of the night was easily Colin Doyle’s 2nd quarter goal. Battling a Titan defender the ball went behind Orlando’s net. Goalie Matt Vinc came out to play the ball but just as he was reaching for it, Doyle battled to get it, and scooped it away from Vinc and the Titan defender. He continued around the net and dove across the back of the crease shooting with one hand into the vacated net just before Vinc could get back.
– it was kids night at the ACC. I was able to bring my two sons with me to see just what Ron and I do, and we had a special announcer join us; Jacob from Newmarket, Ontario. Jacob announced in the first quarter for Ron and did a great job.

Post Game Wrapup

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