January 9, 2010

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NLL: Rock Scorches Blazers in Season Opener

Week 1 Coverage

* Scoreboard
* Titans Top Wings in Orlando Debut
* Rock Scorches Blazers in Season Opener
* Grant, Gait Dazzle in Dream Team Debut for Knighthawks
* Stealth Pulls Mammoth in Everett Debut

from press release

BOSTON -- The Toronto Rock opened the 2010 National Lacrosse League season Saturday with a 17-7 win over the Boston Blazers in front of an announce 8,241 crowd at TD Garden in Boston, MA.

Rookie defender Creighton Reid opened scoring for Toronto with a short-handed goal just over four minutes into the first quarter followed by another from Rock first-round pick Garrett Billings. Assistant captain Blaine Manning made it 3-0 for Toronto with 4:31 left on the clock and followed up with his second two minutes later with a behind-the-back shot past Blazers goalie Anthony Cosmo. Boston got on the board with a goal by Brenden Thenhaus, but Toronto would end the quarter up 5-1 on Billings' second goal.

After a scramble in front of Toronto netminder Bob Watson, the play was sent to the other end of the turf to see Josh Wasson go one-on-one with Cosmo, draining the Rock's sixth. Toronto would strike again off the faceoff from Manning's third of the night causing Boston to pull goaltender, Cosmo. Boston replaced him with backup Mike Poulin.

Daryl Veltman and Dan Dawson brought the Blazers up to three, but Wasson and rookie forward Stephan Leblanc answered back for the Rock.   With 3:45 left in the half Billings scored his third to collect the hat trick, bringing the score to 10-3 in favor of Toronto. He would strike again a minute later, assisted by Colin Doyle and Kasey Beirnes, to end the half.   

With Cosmo back in net, Dawson scored for Boston to start the third quarter, which would remain quiet until Beirnes put one between Cosmo's legs with 5:46 on the clock. The back and forth continued as Dawson dove across the crease for his third Blazers goal of the night followed by teammate Veltman.

Toronto began the fourth with a with a six-goal lead that was quickly extended to seven off a goal by Mike Hominuck. Captain Colin Doyle sunk his first goal back in a Rock jersey to bring the score to 14-6. Leblanc was next for the Rock to bring the tally to 15, followed by rookie teammate Billings, his fifth of the game. With 6:49 left in the game the Blazers would get back on the board with a goal from Gary Bining. Manning drowned the next for Toronto to collect the hat trick.  

Lead scorer for Toronto was first-round (sixth overall) NLL entry draft pick Garrett Billings with five goals. Billings added two assists for seven points. Colin Doyle had one goal and nine assists.

Reigning NLL MVP Dan Dawson led the Blazers with three goals and two assists.   


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