The Toronto Rock (3-3) used a five-goal run in the second half to hand the Rochester Knighthawks (2-4) a 12-8 loss Saturday night at FirstOntario Centre.
The loss was Rochester’s third straight after starting the campaign with a 2-1 record while the Rock improved to 3-1 at home.
Knighthawks forwards Ryan Smith, Curtis Knight and Turner Evans all logged five points apiece on two goals and three assists to lead the offense while two-time NLL MVP Shawn Evans notched two power-play markers to complete the scoring for Rochester.
Goaltender Rylan Hartley (1-3) made his fourth straight start in the crease for the Knighthawks and suffered the loss despite making 42 saves on the 53 shots he faced.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Rock forward Tom Schreiber paced the Toronto offense with his six-goal effort, while forward Rob Hellyer finished with seven assists, including one on five of Schreiber’s six tallies. Dan Dawson (3+2) turned in a three-goal performance, while Dan Craig (2+3) registered two goals and three assists. Zach Manns (1+3) began and ended the scoring as part of a four-point night.
Veteran netminder Nick Rose (3-2) improved to 3-2 on the slate as he stopped 45 shots in the win.
Toronto set the tone early, jumping out to a 3-0 first-quarter lead on the strength of three straight goals in less than four minutes. Manns opened the scoring at the 4:58 mark and Craig, after assisting on the first, doubled the Rock’s lead. Dawson, who just last week moved into second all-time in league scoring, converted on the powerplay at the 8:50 mark to give the Rock a three-goal advantage.
With 2:45 remaining in the opening quarter, the Knighthawks capitalized on their third power-play of the contest with Shawn Evans putting the visitors on the board. While the Evans cousins exchanged passes, Shawn Evans eventually slipped a side-shot through two Toronto defenders and past Rose to trim the deficit to 3-1.
Schreiber notched his first of five consecutive goals before the quarter ended and the Rock held 4-1 advantage before Smith and Shawn Evans tacked on a pair to bring the Knighthawks within one to open the second frame.
Schreiber responded for the Rock as he connected once again with Hellyer for the second time of the night with 7:49 to go in the second. Smith and Schreiber again exchanged goals before the end of the half and Toronto took a 6-4 lead into the intermission.
For the third time in the contest, Rochester pulled within one as Turner Evans picked up a high bounce off the wall and sent a pass to Knight on the fly. As Knight crept into the offensive zone, he avoided a Toronto defender and send a shot sailing past Rose to cut Toronto’s lead to 6-5 just 59 seconds into the third quarter.
Knight evened the contest at 6-6 with 9:29 to go in the third frame, however, Toronto would go on a five-goal run beginning with a pair of goals each from Schreiber and Dawson as the Rock stormed out to a 10-6 advantage at the 6:43 mark.
Craig followed 2:48 later for Toronto before Turner Evans would give Rochester its final push of the game with back-to-back goals to make it an 11-8 score.
With time dwindling, Schreiber capped off the scoring as he notched his sixth tally of the night to lift the Rock to the four-goal victory.
Rochester concludes its three-game road swing on Saturday, Feb. 5 when the Knighthawks look to take down the first-place Buffalo Bandits at KeyBank Center. The 7:30 p.m. matchup will be the second of three scheduled meetings between the two teams this season and will be carried live on 107.3 FM The Bull and ESPN+.