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Dan Craig Toronto Rock NLL 2018 Photo:

Toronto Rock v. Philadelphia Wings: Getting Back On Track

The Philadelphia Wings and Toronto Rock rivalry will be revived as the Wings come to Scotiabank Arena looking for their first win in the new franchise’s history. Both these teams lost last week in two very different games.

The Wings went down by 5 goals to start their game against Rochester and were never able to tie it or gain the lead, but were able to put up a fight in their 13-9 loss.

The Toronto Rock went toe-to-toe with a very good Georgia Swarm team, but ultimately lost as Lyle Thompson scored the game winner with less than 30 seconds left in the game.

Each team will be looking to do anything to get back on track and walk off the floor with a win on Friday.  

Toronto Rock’s Keys to the Game

  • They need more goals in transition. Against Buffalo, they were relentless in transition and really took the wind out of the Bandits’ sails with a few goals by Rock defenders. Only Creighton Reid scored against Georgia and one or two more transition goals would have helped them win that game.
  • Who will step up on offense? Rob Hellyer went off with 5 goals and 5 assists last game and Tom Schreiber and Kieran McArdle also lit it up. Hopefully for the Rock they can keep up the scoring, but Adam Jones, Dan Lintner, Dan Craig, and Johnny Powless will need to chip in as well to really put pressure on the Wings defense.
  • Taking care of late game moments. The Rock had a chance to win the game against Georgia with under a minute left as they took a quick shot and it was stopped with more than 30 seconds left. Lyle Thompson scored the game winner soon after. This was a tough situation because taking the quick shot left enough time for the Swarm to get their 30 second shot clock and then also some time for the Rock to potentially get the last shot if Lyle doesn’t score there. The Rock also could have slowed it down to get set up and use the whole shot clock, but then Georgia would have had time to have the last shot if the Rock didn’t score. It’s hard to say what would’ve been the right decision. If this Friday’s game also comes down to the last minute will the Rock be able to make the game winning play this time?
  • Take advantage of Philly’s goalie struggles. The Wings have pulled their starting goalie in both of their games so far and have yet to solidify their starter. If the Rock can pepper either Buchan or DiRuscio early and get a goalie change, that will be huge for swinging the momentum their way.

The Wings will come in to Toronto hungry for their first win and the Rock will be eager to get their fans the first win at home this season in Rock City so expect a battle from start to finish as these East Division rivals faceoff tonight.

READ MORE: Read this week’s Random Thoughts by Evan Schemenauer on the latest in the NLL, as well as the making of the Lacrosse Classified podcast here.


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