Riggers Battle Back

-Story and Photos by Tom Frank

Not the start they had hoped for, but the Calgary Roughnecks overcame a 7-1 deficit to defeat the visiting Rochester Knighthawks 12-9. The win ensures Calgary a home playoff date and brings them one step closer to securing the NLL’s West Division crown.

The Roughnecks have only played the Knighthawks 2 other times since joining the league in 2001-02 – both loses (14-13 in the ‘01-‘02 season and 15-12 Feb ‘08).

Rochester jumped out to a 4-0 lead, 7 mins 47 secs, into the first quarter. At this point, Calgary’s starter Matt King was replaced by Pat Campbell, after allowing 4 markers on 9 shots. Tracey Kelusky finally got Calgary on the board at the 8:34 mark, with a nice goal from behind the net.

Rochester looked to be in control of the game scoring the first 3 goals of the 2nd quarter for a 7-1 lead. They moved the ball well; passes were made with authority – hard and crisp. Calgary was unable to penetrate the Knighthawks D to get higher quality shots on O’Toole. The Roughnecks were able to finish the half with 2 powerplay goals by Kelusky, for the natural hat-trick and another goal by Jeff Shattler on transition.

The second half was all Roughnecks and goalie Campbell. Calgary looked energized after the break and went on to outscore the Knighthawks 5-0 in the 3rd. Rochester was outshot 5-17.

The Knighthawks finally responded at the 1:30 mark of the 4th, but the Riggers came back with 3 more of their own. Rochester looked worn down, but managed one more goal for a 12-9 final.

Player of the game was Pat Campbell. Jeff Shattler a close second with his great transition ability

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