Rock win thriller against Knighthawks

Five minutes into the second quarter of a high-scoring game, Scott Dominey found his moment.

Streaking down the middle of the Scotiabank Arena floor, Dominey took a pass from goaltender Nick Rose in stride and put a perfectly-placed shot into the net.

Normally, it was just one of 28 goals in an 15-13 Toronto Rock win over the Rochester Knighthawks. But for the 19-year-old Rock defender, scoring in his first National Lacrosse League game provides an unforgettable memory for him.

“Unreal,” Dominey said. “Just taking all in and celebrating with the family.”

The native of Clarington was the Rock’s first pick in last fall’s draft from the Orangeville Jr. A. Northmen. He knew what to do when he caught Rose’s pass.

“Just pick a spot and put it there,” he said. “Just like I’ve been told since I was in minor bantam.”

The game, played before a season-high gathering of 12,873 fans in attendance, was easily the most entertaining of the season, played at high pace with contentious battles for the ball and position at all ends of the floor. Even the Knighthawks, suffering through a terrible 2-10 season, can find a lot to be proud of.

The Knighthawks, 15-14 losers to the Georgia Swarm at home on Friday, came out with better energy, blocking shots and fighting for loose balls. The Rock came out flat but found enough on offence and transition to take a 5-4 lead after one.

Both Challen Rogers and Brock Sorensen scored in transition. Rogers scored his second taking a turn in the offensive set. Dan Lintner added a power play marker and Johnny Powless scored from long range. Chris Bouchy, Mike Triolo, Mike Burke, and Cody Jamieson scored for Rochester.

Dominey’s goal helped the Rock build a 10-8 halftime lead. Also chipping in were Kieran McArdle and Rob Hellyer with long-range shots and Powless, who scored his second from in front of the net. Brandon Slade added a transition marker. Boushy scored his second for the Knighthawks while Kyle Jackson, Dawson Theede, and Colton Armstrong found their way to the scoresheet. Rochester’s highlight was a penalty kill late in the period which featured three excellent saves from in close by goaltender Angus Goodleaf.

The Rock held a 13-11 lead after three with Hellyer’s second coming after he took flight in front of the Rochester net. Tom Schreiber and Bill Hostrawser also scored. The Knighthawks kept close with two goals from Graeme Hossack, both coming just seconds after a Toronto marker. Burke also scored his second. Goodleaf also continued to keep the game close with some fine saves.

Jamieson and McArdle scored their second each in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. Then both Goodleaf and Rose kept the next 12 minutes scoreless with some fine work. The Knighthawks were denied a goal when Armstrong was credited with a goal but after review, was taken away. Then with 1:06 left, Brandon Robinson’s goal was called off for an in-the-crease violation. But after another challenge, the goal was found to be good.

Rose then made the final statement of the game, making a save with 45 seconds left then feeding Damon Edwards for an empty net marker to end a two-game losing streak for the Rock who at 8-3 are close to wrapping up a playoff spot.

“It’s one we needed,” Rock head coach Matt Sawyer said. “I knew if we gave a strong effort, we could be on the right side of it. It wasn’t a masterpiece.”

The Rock travel to Georgia and Buffalo next weekend.