Roughnecks Continue to Roll

by Tom Frank

Calgary’s current 4 game winning streak ties their previous longest winning runs from 2008, 2007 and twice in 2005. The Roughnecks are off to their best start in franchise history. The Minnesota Swarm came to town to try and put an end to that.

This is only the 3rd meeting between these two clubs. The Swarm took the 1st victory back on January 20, 2006 – 12-8. The Roughnecks were victorious in their 2nd match-up January 27, 2007 – 15-14. All games have been played at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary.

Calgary and Minnesota both came off “bye” weeks and should be well rested for a tight match-up.

By the end of the 1st quarter, Calgary had jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Five different players scored for the Roughnecks – Tracey Kelusky, Scott Ranger, Jeff Shattler, Kaleb Toth and Curt Malawsky.

NOTE: Josh Sanderson’s assists on the final 2 goals of the quarter, brought him up to 5th position on the NLL’s All-Time Scoring List. He now trails John Taveres (1,351), Gary Gait (1,115), Colin Doyle (883) and John Grant (811).

It was already 6-0 by the time Minnesota responded with a pretty back-handed shovel shot by Chad Culp on the crease. Toth would make it 7-1 for the hosts, on the PP with 10 seconds remaining in the half.

Calgary had good off-ball movement and control on offence, and their transition game was great creating several fast break opportunities. Pat Campbell, for the Roughnecks, was sharp in net when needed.

On the other side, Minnesota would move the ball well, balls were dropped when shots could have been taken. The Swarm did not have many quality shots, mostly long shots. Calgary was good at keeping them to the outside.

The 3rd quarter provided lots of action with 4 goals scored by each club. After Calgary opened the scoring for the quarter, a misplayed loose ball by Campbell would allow Minnesota’s Dean Hill to recover and dive from behind the net to score. A challenge was issued by Calgary, but later dismissed.

A minute later, Jeff Moleski would intercept a pass in front of his own net, run end to end and score to make it 9-2 Roughnecks. This saw the end to Nick Patterson’s night in goal for Minnesota. The announcer stated it was due to his “allergy to rubber.”

The goalie change must have done the Swarm some good, as they would score the next three to make it 9-5. That would be as close as they would get as Calgary went on to finish the quarter with 2 more.

Minnesota would outscore Calgary in the 4th quarter, but the damage was done. The Roughnecks made full use of their 30 second possessions and controlled much of the play.

Kelusky would finish the game as he started, with a goal. This one was sweet! While short-handed, in the dying seconds of the shot clock, Kelusky dove from behind the net and squeezed it past Kevin Croswell and the post. The play would be challenged, but again dismissed.

The Roughnecks win 13-8. This is Calgary’s 1st ever 5 game winning streak.

FAST FACTS:
– Kaleb Toth’s assist on the final goal gives him 300
– Kelusky needs 7 more for the same milestone
– SOG: Cal 48 – Min 46
– Player of the game: Calgary’s Pat Campbell G
– Official attendance 10,090

Calgary: Kelusky 4g 5a, Toth 3g 1a, Sanderson 1g 4a, Dane Dobbie 1g 4a, Ranger 1g 1a, Malawsky 1g, Moleski 1g,
Minnesota: Culp 2g 1a, D. Hill 1g 2a, Ryan Ward 1g 1a, Travis Hill 1g, Kevin Fines 1g, Shattler 1g 1a, Andrew Watt 1g, Kevin Ross 1g

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