NLL: Rock 2-0 in preseason with win over Mammoth

The Toronto Rock moved to 2-0 in NLL pre-season play with a 15-9 win over the Colorado Mammoth Saturday night at the TRAC in Oakville.

Hundreds of fans packed the TRAC for the Rock’s second of three home pre-season games. Last week the Rock defeated the Georgia Swarm 10-8 and next week they will host their division rival Buffalo Bandits.

The Rock rolled out to a 5-2 lead after the first and a 9-7 lead at the half. The Mammoth kept things as close as possible but a three goal run in the third quarter put the Rock up 12-8. The defense on both sides turned it on in the fourth.

Nick Rose started the game for the Rock and played 45 minutes, giving up 8 eight goals. Steve Fryer came in for the last quarter and was just over a minute away from a shutout performance before Jeremy Noble popped in a last goal for Colorado. Alex Buque took over at the half from Zak Boychuk for the Mammoth.

The Rock are looking to have a successful rebound year after 2016’s 5-13 season. Many new faces are competing for spots. Colin Doyle and Josh Sanderson have retired, and the Rock will miss several players to injury this season including forward Rob Hellyer and defenseman Brock Sorensen.

The new kids threw everything but the kitchen sink at Boychuk and Buque, tallying 53 shots to Colorado’s 35.

“We’re definitely back in lacrosse mode,” Rose said to NLL Production’s Mia Gordon in a post-game interview. “We’ve got some pretty skilled players up there so if they’re putting up that many shots night in and night out we’re going to have some success so that’s definitely a good sign to see and hopefully we can carry that into the regular season in a couple of weeks.”

Brett Hickey led the Rock with a hat trick. Dan Lintner, Mike MacDonald, Kasey Biernes, and Kieran McArdle had two goals each while singles went to Sandy Chapman, Brodie Merrill, Kyle Aquin, and Brodie Tutton. Lintner and Luc Magnan were replaced after the first half by Tutton and Jeff Gilbert.

John Grant Jr. led the Mammoth with a hat trick in his 30 minutes of play. Other Mammoth goals were scored by Jacob Ruest, Greg Downing, Creighton Reid, Zach Herreweyers, Eli McLaughlin, and Jeremy Noble.