Rock rout Black Wolves 21-9 in NLL East Division battle

Toronto — In a meeting between two of the hottest teams in the National Lacrosse League with first place in the East Division at stake, the Toronto Rock pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 21-9 win over the New England Black Wolves at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night.

Tom Schreiber (five goals, seven assists), Adam Jones (five goals, four assists) and Rob Hellyer (four goals, five assists) led a Toronto team that scored in bursts all night long. David Brock and Kevin Crowley each had two goals and an assist for New England.

The Rock (4-2) carried a three-game winning streak into the game, scoring a whopping 61 goals in that run. The Black Wolves (4-2) had also won three in a row, but were doing it with defense, allowing just 26 goals over that time.

In this first of three matchups between the teams, the Black Wolves could not contain Toronto, which broke open a competitive game by exploding for six goals early in the fourth quarter to make it 20-9. Brett Hickey added a late goal for the Rock to close out the scoring.

New England, which was within 12-9 with 3:26 left in the third quarter, was also frustrated by Toronto goalie Nick Rose. He had 46 saves and made some tough stops in the fourth quarter.

Leading 14-9 at the start of the fourth, Toronto took complete control with six goals in the first 4:23 of the fourth quarter as Jones (two), Hellyer, Sheldon Burns, Schreiber and Reid Reinholdt pushed the Toronto lead to 20-9.

As expected, Toronto tested the Black Wolves defense early, firing 36 shots at goalie Aaron Bold in the first half while building a 10-7 lead at the intermission. Jones, who had three goals and two assists in the first half alone, set the tone by scoring just 36 seconds into the game.

Goals by Kevin Buchanan and Brock gave the Black Wolves a 2-1 lead, but Burns started a five-goal Toronto run by scoring in transition with just under six minutes remaining in the half. Jones scored in the last second of the first quarter, and then found the back of the net again 19 seconds into the second quarter.

Goals by Schreiber and Kieran McArdle made it 6-2 early in the second quarter.

The Black Wolves flurried for three goals in a span of two minutes, 15 seconds as Crowley, Brock and Leblanc made it 6-5 with 7:40 left in the half. But goals from Jones and Schreiber 31 seconds apart made it 8-5 with 5:50 left.

After John LaFontaine scored for the Black Wolves, Reinholdt and Hellyer scored in 18 seconds tp make it 10-6. Crowley's goal with 3:23 left closed out the first half.

New England returns to Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, Feb. 9, against the Buffalo Bandits at 7:30 p.m.

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