Rockburn was a hard hitting defenseman. He and Reg Noble formed a particularly vaunted defense duo with Detroit.
Cooper Smeaton, coach of the Philadelphia Quakers at the time, was an admirer of the duo.
"These two guys have perfected the art of sandwiching attackers. Noble steers people into Rockburn and then Rockburn creams you. If you try to split them you can get hurt. And I mean hurt!"
Smeaton tried getting that message through to his players. Stan Crossett apparently was not listening.
Archie Campbell, the Quakers trainer, carries on the Crossett story.
"Noble got him first, then Rockburn sent him flying off his feet. It was no ordinary hoist either. The big fellow seemed to take off like an airplane. Then he made a perfect three-point landing on elbows and stomach and started to skid along the ice. The wind had probably been knocked out of him before he ever touched the ice," said Campbell.
"He was helpless. He slid on his stomach from mid-ice right over to the boards with his stick extended in front of him. When the stick hit the boards, it jabbed Crossett's chin and knocked him out cold."
That was not the end of the story for Crossett. Somehow Crossett took a penalty on the play when he was up in the air and about to crash hard on to the ice. Even though Crossett was out cold, he was assessed a 5 minute major on the play. His stick somehow managed to snag Rockburn, opening a nasty and bloody cut over Rocky's eye.
Campbell was then summoned to the penalty box with the unconscious Crossett. As he dangled countless smelling salts to wake up Crossett he tried to explain why he was in the penalty box!