Mammoth Comeback

Roughnecks blow fourth quarter lead, lose 13-12 in OT
story by Tom Frank

Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary – The Roughnecks played host to the Colorado Mammoth last night at the Saddledome. Both teams are coming off loses in their home openers. The Riggers lost once at home and won once in Colorado last season.

Shawn Evans opened the scoring for Calgary, continuing from his 5 point performance from last week. Calgary goes ahead by 2 when Chris Levis loses sight of the ball in his pads and it trickles into the net. Roughnecks goalie, Mike Poulin, looked sharp early with help from his teams smothering defence.

The Mammoth finally got on the board with a power play tally from John Grant Jr at 8:19 of the opening quarter. Calgary responded with a similar play on the power play, 13 seconds after. The ‘Necks scored on 3 of 4 shots thus far and finished the quarter scoring on 4 of 7. Calgary lead 4-2 after fifteen.

Colorado scored 51 seconds into the second frame, followed by 2 more goals from Calgary, Scott Ranger and Dane Dobbie, his first of the season at 1:34. Mammoth goalie, Chris Levis, was injured on the play, and replaced by Matt Roik. Geoff Snider recorded his 200th career point at 3:50 of the second, to make it 7-3 for the Roughnecks.

There was no scoring for the next seven minutes until Grant notched his hat-trick at the eleven minute mark. That ended scoring for the half. Calgary lead 7-4. The Riggers defence controlled most of the play in the 2nd quarter and allowed Poulin to have a clear view of every shot.

Grant scored in the first minute of the 3rd quarter. Two minutes after, Evans replied with his 2nd of the night. After another goal by Colorado, Evans scored his 3rd and 4th goals on the power play. Calgary’s power play was much better this week, going 5-8.

Grant scored his 5th of the game, from the doorstep, to keep his team within range, 7-10. Snider scores, going coast-to-coast about a minute after, but the Mammoth managed to pot one more on the power play to maintain the 3 goal deficit, 8-11.

Jeff Shattler, with his 2nd, made it 8-12 earlier in the final frame. There would be no scoring for the next eight minutes, until Grant scores the double hat-trick. The Mammoth keep plugging away and it soon becomes 10-12 and 11-12. Calgary started to look sloppy on defence and allowed Colorado multiple shots of rebounds. Adam Jones ties the game with 1:20 remaining in regulation.

If not for the heroics of Poulin in the final seconds of play, the Riggers would not have the opportunity of overtime. Clearly the save of the game was Poulin throwing out his arm to block a shot by Grant, after a mad scramble in front of the net during the final seconds regular time.

Sean Pollack sealed the deal for the Mammoth, scoring at 6:02 of the overtime period.

Calgary has a chance for redemption as they travel to Colorado next week for the rematch.

Grant lead all scorers (6-2); Gavin Prout (1-6).

Evans lead Calgary (4-3), Shattler (2-2), Dobbie and Scott Ranger (1-3).

Rock Capture Second Win

Toronto Moves To 2-0 After 10-9 Win Over Edmonton
story by Mike Hancock

Edmonton, AB – A little over 16 hours after winning in Calgary, the Toronto Rock defeated the Rush 10-9 at Edmonton’s Rexall Place on Sunday afternoon. The win moves the Rock’s record to 2-0 on the season.

“It’s absolutely huge,” said Rock head coach Troy Cordingley. “To come out of this road trip with a pair of wins over two incredibly talented teams says a lot about the character of our group. We’ll enjoy this one for a couple hours and get right back to business and preparing for Saturday’s home opener in Toronto.”

The Rock dug themselves an early hole when Toronto defender Patrick Merrill took a pair of minor penalties just 31 seconds into the opening quarter. Edmonton scored two power play goals, including one from 2012 first overall pick Mark Matthews, taking an early 2-0 lead. Toronto battled back in the in the frame but still trailed 4-2 after the opening 15 minutes.

At the end of the quarter, a late hit was delivered on Rock forward Garrett Billings that resulted in a scrum and several penalties being assessed. One of those penalties was a second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty dished out to the Rock bench and as a result, head coach Troy Cordingley was ejected from the game.

The penalties worked out in the Rush’s favour as Edmonton scored on the man advantage early, but while still shorthanded Kasey Beirnes answered for Toronto and the score stood at 5-3. The Rock added another pair, with one coming on the power play from Billings, tying the game 5-5. Edmonton added another goal before the end of the half to carry a 6-5 advantage into the break.

Edmonton got on the board first to gain a two-goal lead, but the Rock went on a three-goal run to take their first lead of the game. Two of those three goals came from Scott Evans who was released by the Rush at the beginning of their training camp in December. The Rock lead was short lived as the Rush tallied with just 8 seconds left in the third quarter to tie the game 8-8 heading into the final quarter.

Beirnes continued his clutch goal scoring with the go-ahead marker just over five minutes into the fourth quarter to put the Rock ahead 9-8. Rob Hellyer followed that up with a goal at the 12:08 mark to give Toronto their biggest lead of the night. Edmonton was able to close the gap to one, but couldn’t get any closer in the final moments despite pulling their goaltender for the extra attacker.

Billings scored a pair and added three goals for a five-point game and captain Colin Doyle also had five points, all assists. Beirnes, Evans and Josh Sanderson each scored twice for the Rock.

Nick Rose was sensational for the second consecutive night making 44 saves to pick up his second win of the season. Aaron Bold made 34 stops in a losing cause for the Rush.

Brandon Ivey sustained a lower body injury in pre-game warmup and did not play on Sunday. Damon Edwards, who left Saturday’s game early, also didn’t dress after suffering a lower body injury against Calgary. Scott Johnston was the other player scratched for the Rock. All this meant that Toronto needed to play Rock forward out of the back door on defence for portions of Sunday’s game.

Rock Spoil Roughnecks Home Opener 13-11

story by Tom Frank

Scotiabank Saddledome – The Calgary Roughnecks played host to the Toronto Rockin their 2013 home opener. The teams played twice last season, each team with avictory in the others barn. Curt Malawsky made his debut as the Riggers new benchboss along with Bruce Codd as defensive co-ordinator and Bob McMahon on offence.

Noticeably absent was Dane Dobbie, serving a one game suspension from an altercation in the ‘Necks last playoff game, May 5 vs the Edmonton Rush. Also missingwas the recently retired, Kaleb Toth. Toth will be honored, March 2, as the first recipient of the “Forever A Roughneck” program.

Stephen Hoar got the visitors on the board early, scoring seven seconds off the opening face-off. Jeff Shattler replied about two minutes after, finding space through the 5-holeof former Roughneck, Nick Rose. Calgary’s transition made it quickly up the floor early
in the quarter, but couldn’t capitalize. Some good end to end action. The teams looked evenly matched and exchanged goals. However, the edge went to the Rock, with a tally from Blaine Manning on the power play late in the quarter and up 3-2. It could have been a 4-2 lead for Toronto if not for the keen eye of Coach Malawsky to challenge the play. The goal was called back for crease violation.

The Roughnecks received a couple power play chances at the beginning of the second quarter, but Toronto managed to score short handed with a break by Rob Marshall. That was the only goal until almost the eleven minute point of the quarter. Joe Resetarits, one of three Calgary rookies, kept the hosts to within one goal by scoring over the shoulder of Rose from the top of the crease. The Rock’s transition came up big, scoring the next two goals about 40 seconds apart to go up 6-3. Calgary replied with a goal from Aaron Pascas, acquired via trade from Toronto, but the Rock would score one more before the half to maintain their three goal lead.

During a half time interview, you could tell Coach Malawsky was not too happy with his troops, as you could barely hear him over the sound system due to his already hoarse voice.

The Riggers started the third quarter two men down with penalties to Curtis Manningand Mike Carnegie at the end of the half. Toronto managed to score once as Kasey Beirnes finished a nice zig-zag play to the crease. Calgary killed off the remaining penalty and was awarded a power play of their own shortly after. Shawn Evans scored his second of the night, top corner. At 2:41, Nolan Heavenor was given a 5 minute major for roughing. On the play, Garrett Billings took a long shot which hit the post and Heavenor was charged with a late hit. The Rock took advantage of this time to go up 10-5 with two goals from Josh Sanderson.

Calgary looked like they were struggling with the Rock D and Rose was being stingy in net. It wasn’t until the final minute of the quarter when Heavenor intercepted a pass and passed up to Andrew McBride who scored through the legs of Rose. Daryl Veltman scored 19 seconds later to bring the the Riggers back to within three (7-10). The Roughnecks would need a strong finish to get back into the game.

Toronto scored first again in the final quarter. Evans replied with his hat-trick goal, 18 seconds after. Curtis Dickson blasted an underhand shot that beat Rose top corner and Geoff Snider scored 7 seconds later, off the draw. This brought the Roughnecks to within one (10-11). The 11,653 fans in attendance started to “bring the noise,” cheering on their local heros. With a delayed call against Calgary, the Rock put an extra attacker on the floor and Beirnes scored his second of the night. The crowd quieted as Beirnes scored his hat-trick with 1:14 remaining.

The ‘Necks played the remainder of the game with Mike Poulin on the bench. Evans played goalie at one instance, and made the save. He then passed up to Curtis Manning to Dickson for the score. This got the crowd energized. Unfortunately, Calgary lost the final draw and Toronto ragged the clock down to 13 seconds. The game finished 13-11 in favour of the Rock.

The Colorado Mammoth visit Calgary, Saturday, January 19.
The Rock visit Edmonton tomorrow night for the Rush home opener.

Roughnecks Take Round 1 in Battle of Alberta 2012

Dickson Still Trick-y Against Rush

story by Tom Frank
Photos by Marcelo Saguez

Scotiabank Saddledome – Curtis Dickson scored three times to lead Calgary to a 12-8 victory over their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Rush. Dickson has scored a hat-trick each time he’s played against the Rush, including four meetings last season.

The win marked Calgary’s first victory on home turf this season after suffering loses to Colorado and Toronto in overtime.

Dickson opened the scoring at 4:36 bouncing a shot past Rush goalie, Aaron Bold. Zack Greer replied for Edmonton about 5 minutes later, shooting through traffic to get one past Mike Poulin. Corey Small scored with 3 seconds left in the quarter to give the Rush a 2-1 lead.

Calgary went on to score 4 goals in the second, highlighted by goals by Geoff Snider and Dickson 17 seconds apart, to give the Riggers a 5-2 lead going into the half.

Poulin was keen shutting the door on the Rush, blocking all 12 shots in the second quarter and going 22 for 24 in the opening half.

Edmonton battled back in the third, outscoring the hosts 4-1. The Roughnecks allowed their lead to slip away and the teams entered the final quarter tied 6-6.

The Riggers surged in the fourth, going on another 4 goal run before the Rush could respond. Bold needed to make several key saves early in the quarter as Shawn Evans caused several turnovers in Edmonton’s defensive zone, creating scoring opportunities for Calgary.

Jeff Shattler started the drive by scooping a rebound in front of the crease for his first of the game at 6:17. Calgary rookie, Travis Cornwall, scored his first NLL goal a couple minutes later on a transition play. Shattler rocketed a shot past Bold 31 seconds later and Dickson’s hat-trick goal at 10:46 gave the Roughnecks a 10-6 lead.

The Rush, with the extra attacker, finally managed to reply with a tally by Scott Evans at 11:40. By then, Calgary’s lead was too great to overcome. The Necks scored 2 more goals by Cornwall and (Shawn) Evans to make it 12-7. Tom Johnson notched one last goal for the guests on the powerplay to make the final 12-8. Snider won the draw and held onto the ball to run out the remaining 22 seconds.
Calgary (4-2) heads to Denver February 24 to take on the Western /league-leading Colorado Mammoth (6-0).

Other Game Notes:

-Pauil Rabil, acquired in a trade with the Washington Stealth, was not in uniform for Edmonton
-Poulin looked strong in net, rebounding well after being pulled in the Stealth game last week. He made 40 saves on 48 shots and added 2 assists.
-Dane Dobbie, still out due to injury, allowed room for rookie Travis Cornwall.
-Nolan Heavenor was out of Calgary’s line-up due to the birth of his daughter. This allowed room for defender Ryan McNish.

Point leaders:
-Calgary – Dickson (3-2), Shattler (2-3), Daryl Veltman (2-2) and Shawn Evans (1-3).
-Edmonton – Scott Evans (2-3), Corey Small (2-2), Johnson and Ryan Ward (1-2) and Shawn Williams (0-3)

Second Half Comeback Nets Knighthawks Win

photo and story courtesy of Knighthawks.net

(Rochester, February 4)… The Rochester Knighthawks rallied from three goals down multiple times to defeat the Minnesota Swarm 16-14 Saturday night at The Blue Cross Arena. With the victory, Rochester improves to 2-3 on the season, while Minnesota falls to 1-2 overall with the loss.

Rochester was led by a nine-point night by Cody Jamieson (3+6) and a seven-point effort by Mike Accursi (2+5). Johnny Powless also had two goals and two assists, while Cory Vitarelli added six points (3+3). Minnesota was led by Ryan Benesch who had four goals and three assists. Jamie Shewchuk (2+4) and Jordan MacIntosh (3+1) also had solid games for the Swarm.

Minnesota started the scoring early with a goal from Benesch just over two minutes into the game. Keogh was quick to answer for the Knighthawks though, scoring less than a minute later to even the score at 1-1. The teams then went back and forth until Callum Crawford’s goal pushed the Swarm in front by two goals at 4-2. Mike Accursi was able to cut the deficit in half for Rochester with just over a minute remaining in the first, and Minnesota led 4-3 after one.

Powless got the second period started with a bang for Rochester, as his beautiful over-the-shoulder shot pulled the Knighthawks even at 4-4. The two teams then exchanged two goal rallies, first by MacIntosh and Corbyn Tao of the Swarm, followed by Travis Hill and Jamison of Rochester. With the score tied at 6-6, the Swarm used a three-goal rally to close the period, and took a 9-6 lead into the locker room.

Rochester started the second half with a two goal rally from Vitarelli and Powless that pulled them within a single goal. Minnesota quickly answered with goals from Benesch and Jay Card that pushed their lead back to 11-8. However, Rochester would not be denied and closed the half with three straight goals to pull even as the game went to the final period. Davis, Keogh and Jamieson scored in that rally.

Just over a minute into the fourth quarter, Vitarelli scored his third goal of the evening on a power play, and gave the Knighthawks their first lead of the game. Minnesota responded with two goals over a 26 second stretch to reclaim the lead with just over 10 minutes remaining. From there it was all Knighthawks, as Rochester scored four of the last five goals, and overcame a rough start to notch its second win of the season.

Rochester is next in action when they travel to Minnesota for Knighthawks vs. Swarm part-two next Sunday, February 12th at 3:00 p.m. The Knighthawks next home game will be Saturday, February 18th at 7:30 p.m. when they take on the Washington Stealth.

Roughnecks Suffer Another OT Setback

Rock Get Redemption
By Tom Frank, Lacrosse Inside the Game correspondent
Photos by Marcelo Saguez

Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary lacrosse fans (7,460) were taken on a rollercoaster ride of a game Saturday night. Unfortunately, their local heroes met defeat in overtime for the second straight week.

Calgary entered the match-up looking to recover from a loss in their home opener last week and take advantage of a Rock team that played the night before. Toronto had hopes of avenging a loss to Calgary back on January 8. This is the final time these teams meet this season.

The Roughnecks scored on their first shot of the game. Curtis Dickson blasted one from the point that beat Rock goalie Pat Campbell. Dane Dobbie made it 2-0 for the hosts three minutes later by completing a give ’n’ go down the middle. Then, it got exciting.

Off the draw, Calgary face-off specialist, Geoff Snider, carried the ball deep into Toronto’s zone. Snider managed to keep control of the ball behind the net while fighting off two defenders. He lost the ball when he was struck in the head, but no penalty was called. A scrum ensued and Campbell charged out of his crease, starting a fight with Snider. Snider quickly removed Campbell’s helmet and shoulder pads and let the fists fly. The fight ended once Snider slipped on the downed goalie equipment. Both received five for fighting and Campbell received an additional two minutes for instigator and a game misconduct.

Toronto soon tied the game (2-2) by mid-quarter with goals by Josh Sanderson and Garrett Billings. The teams were tied 3-3 by the end of the first.

The second quarter was a mirror image of the first. The Rock built a two goal lead and chased Calgary starter Mike Poulin from the net. This made way for Nick Rose to make his first appearance in net for the Riggers. Calgary quickly fought back to tie the game 5-5. The teams finished the half tied 6-6.

The opening thirty minutes was very entertaining with good tempo and high intensity from both teams.

Calgary regained their two goal lead (9-7) at 5:06 of the third on a shot by Peter McFetridge through the 5-hole of Matt Roik. Again, Toronto fought back and looked to take the lead 11-10 as Stephen Leblanc dove across the crease to put one past Rose. The Necks challenged the play and the goal was called back for crease violation. When the Rock did eventually score their 11th, Poulin was recalled to his post in front of the net. The third ended with the teams tied 11-11 and the scoring see-saw continued.

Poulin was solid for almost a full quarter and Calgary was ahead by two once more (13-11). The Riggers tightened up their defence and made it difficult for the Rock to get anything together.

Still ahead by one goal with 1:42 remaining, Calgary managed their time well and maintained possession for over a minute. Toronto gained control of the ball at 34 seconds and quickly called a timeout.

Billings scored the tying goal with 10.4 seconds on the clock. On the play, Poulin attempted to scoop a loose ball up from behind his net, but a Toronto attacker checked his stick and passed it out front.

The Necks engineered one last shot with 5.9 seconds remaining, however Roik was there to meet the challenge.

Cam Woods found the back of the net at 1:05 of the extra quarter. Necks’ forward, Scott Ranger, lost possession of the ball moments after crossing centre, allowing Toronto the opportunity for the game winner.

The Calgary Roughnecks and Toronto Rock find themselves with identical records of 2-2. They are tied for second place in their respective divisions.

Calgary has a bye week, then visits Washington on February 10.
Toronto heads to Philadelphia on February 4.

Other Notes:

Calgary sniper Dane Dobbie left the game in the 2nd quarter and did not return. He had 1 goal and 3 helpers at the time.

Calgary leaders:
Curtis Dickson 3-3, Shawn Evans 2-3, Daryl Veltman /Jeff Shattler 2-2

Toronto leaders:
Joash Sanderson 3-6, Garrett Billings 3-4, Dan Carey 2-0

Colorado Withstands Knighthawks Second Half Rally

photo and story courtesy of Knighthawks.net

(Denver, January 28)… The Rochester Knighthawks’ second-half comeback fell just short in Denver tonight, as the Colorado Mammoth earned a 14-11 victory over the K-Hawks at Pepsi Center. The Knighthawks fell to 1-3 after their second straight road loss in two nights.
 
Despite falling behind by five in the first half, Rochester came out determined and scored five out of the first seven goals in the third. The Knighthawks got within 12-11 when Cody Jamieson (2+3) scored at 5:57. However, a power-play goal by Sean Pollock and a breakaway goal by Creighton Reid put the game out of reach. Cory Vitarelli (2+2), Mike Accursi (3+3), Stephen Keogh (2+3), and Jamieson (2+3) led the Knighthawks in points.
 
John Grant Jr. powered the Mammoth with seven points (3+4), while Gavin Prout (1+3), Pollock (3+2), and Jamie Lincoln (3+1) helped Colorado secure the win. The 4-0 start ties the second best start to a season in the team’s 10-year history. The Mammoth record of five was set in 2008.
 
The Mammoth came out firing taking an early 4-1 lead with a goal by Pollock, Adam Jones, Lincoln, and Prout. Keogh decreased the Mammoth’s lead to 4-2, but Colorado’s Grant Jr. scored just 17 seconds later to put Colorado up 5-2. Colorado continued to click on offense in the second quarter, scoring four out of the six goals to make the score at 9-4 Colorado at half.
 
The Knighthawks stormed back and at 7:07 of the third, Accursi brought Rochester within two, giving Colorado a 10-8 lead. Rochester came within two again in the fourth at 12-10 when Accursi posted a hat-trick at 4:51. Jamieson’s follow-up goal made it 12-11, but Colorado tightened its defense in the latter half of the fourth to secure a 13-11 win and keep its undefeated season intact.
 
On Saturday, February 4th, the Knighthawks will host the Minnesota Swarm at 7:30 p.m. The first 3,000 fans will take home a Chris Schiller bobblehead. The Urology Associates of Rochester will hold their annual Men’s Health Night. Fans can bid on special game-worn jerseys on www.gobuyrochester.com.
 
Meet the Knighthawks: Remember Blast Lacrosse, the video game? Well, here is your chance to take on the players in the first NLL video game. Meet Stephen Keogh, former Knighthawk Jake Coon and other K-Hawks legends from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Stock Exchange Restaurant (first floor of the first Federal Plaza at 28 East Main Street).Fans can also enter a raffle to win Knighthawks tickets and prizes. Make sure to also meet the Knightingales. Stop by the “No Limits Lacrosse” Show, which will tape its show from the Stock Exchange. The show will air on Saturday, February 4th at 10:00 a.m. on Sportsradio 950 ESPN and www.sportsradio950espn.com.

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