Billings buries 4 goals in Rock win
Six Nations – The Toronto Rock were 13-9 winners over the Minnesota Swarm in their final exhibition scrimmage of the preseason.
The Rock held a narrow one goal edge at the end of the first quarter but were able to extend their lead to two goals at the half leading 7-5.
A 4-1 third quarter in favour of the Rock really stretched the Toronto advantage. Garrett Billings, Colin Doyle and Rob Marshall all scored in the opening 4:21 of the quarter to make it 10-5. Billings and Marshall each striking while the Rock were a man down.
The Swarm would break up the Rock run, but Billings found the back of the net for the second time in the quarter and third time in the game to restore the five-goal lead at 11-6 after three quarters.
Minnesota would outdistance the Rock in the fourth quarter 3-2, but it wasn’t enough as Toronto held on for a 13-9 victory.
Billings added another goal in the fourth quarter to finish the game with a team-high 4 goals.
“This was the first time our offence was together and for whatever reason we have great chemistry and I think it was evident out there this afternoon,” said Billings.
Scoring once each for the Rock were Jeff Gilbert, Aaron Pascas, Doyle and Marshall. Kasey Beirnes finished the game with a hat-trick, while Blaine Manning chipped in with a pair.
The Rock still need to reduce their roster before December 23 at 12 noon EST when all NLL clubs must submit their 23-man active roster and 3-man practice roster.
“We’re very close but you always want to be sure you make the right decisions,” head coach Troy Cordingley said when asked about the final roster moves that need to be made. “We’re going to sleep on a couple of things and make those last couple of tough decisions.”
Currently the Rock have 28 players in camp including Pat Maddalena who is on Injured Reserve.
Toronto opens the 2011 NLL season at home against the Edmonton Rush on Saturday, January 8 at Air Canada Centre.
For tickets log on to www.torontorock.com or call the Rock office at 416-596-3075.
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