(Photo Courtesy of Toronto Rock)
Sunday featured two games across the NLL landscape as the Toronto Rock hosted the Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks hosted the Vancouver Warriors.
Toronto 13, Buffalo 9 (Game Sheet)
After a very back-and-forth second half, which saw both squads go on some momentum changing runs, things were all knotted at 8. Buffalo ended the half with two consecutive goals from and Dhane Smith and Josh Byrne to tie things up going into halftime. However, a defensive stand on both ends in the third saw just one combined goal go in as David Brock put the Rock ahead 9-8 heading into the fourth. Toronto’s exploded in the fourth, outscoring Buffalo 4-1 in the final period to secure the victory.
Toronto was led by Dan Dawson, who tallied his 900th career assist on Sunday, with seven points (3G/4A). Rob Hellyer also had five points (3G/2A) in the win for Toronto. Matt Gilray led Buffalo with five points (2G/3A) and Dhane Smith scored three goals. In net, Matt Vinc made 34 saves off of 46 shots on goal for Buffalo and Nick Rose made 44 saves off of 53 shots on goal for Toronto.
Vancouver 11, Rochester 10 (OT) (Game Sheet)
They say Lacrosse is a game of runs. Well, this game only exemplified that statement as both sides traded runs all game long. While Rochester was able to get a slight edge early on, Vancouver was able to make it a two-goal game at the half. Joel McCready scored the only goal of the third quarter, cutting the Rochester lead to just 8-7 heading into the fourth. Rochester held onto a 10-9 lead late in the fourth, but a Mitch Jones goal with under a minute to go in regulation forced overtime. Mitch Jones scored the game-winner a few minutes into the overtime period.
Vancouver was led by Mitch Jones with nine points (4G/5A) while Joel McCready also tallied five points (4G/1A) in the win. Phil Caputo scored four goals for Rochester while Shawn Evans tallied six points (2G/4A) and Holden Cattoni had eight points (2G/6A). Rylan Hartley made 46 saves off of 57 shots on goal in his first NLL start for Rochester and Eric Penney made 36 saves off of 46 shots on goal for Vancouver.