Rookie Aaron Pascas nets the winner
Toronto – The Toronto Rock (5-2) fought back from a near disastrous a first half that saw few breaks go there way to take a 9-8 overtime win over Calgary (4-3) on Saturday night.
A lucky bounce went Toronto’s way early but the Roughnecks manufactured their bounces the rest of the way in the opening quarter taking a 4-2 lead after one.
The Rock closed the gap to 4-3 with a Stephan Leblanc goal, but the Roughnecks quickly scored a pair to take a 6-3 lead, which they held at the half.
After no scoring for the first five-plus minutes of the third quarter, the Rock rattled off three straight goals to tie the game at 6-6. Colin Doyle, Garrett Billings and Mike Hobbins in transition were the scorers for the Rock.
Pat Maddalena, playing in his first game of the season after injuring his knee in preseason play, scored what appeared to be his first of the season to give the Rock a lead but Calgary challenged the call on the floor and the goal was disallowed keeping the game deadlocked at 6-6.
With Calgary’s Andrew McBride in the box for holding, the Rock powerplay got it done in short order with veteran Blaine Manning finishing off some smooth passing to finally give the Rock a lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the first quarter, 7-6.
With just under seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Doyle added to their second half dominance by cashing in with a beautiful around the back goal right on top the crease to give the Rock an 8-6 edge.
Calgary’s Curtis Dickson had a goal called back after the Rock challenged the call on the floor by the officials.
However, on the same play, Rock defender Kyle Ross was penalized and Calgary went on the powerplay with Jeff Shattler scoring his second of the game to make it 8-7. The goal was also Calgary’s first in over 30 minutes of game play.
With less than a minute to go, Dickson would get his revenge scoring on a long range rope that beat Bob Watson tying the game 8-8 and pushing the game to overtime.
Just over four minutes into overtime, the Rock coughed up the ball and then quickly forced a turnover with Aaron Pascas picking up the loose ball and burying a shot past Mike Poulin to make it a 9-8 Rock win.
Friday, February 18th, the Rock are back home against the Rochester Knighthawks in the first half of a home and home. Game time at Air Canada Centre is 7:30pm ET. The back half of the weekend set will be Saturday night in Rochester at the Blue Cross Arena; game time is 7:35pm ET.
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