Third Quarter Surge Powers Roughnecks to Victory
Story by Tom Frank
Photos by Marcelo Saguez
Scotiabank Saddledome – The Calgary Roughnecks wouldn’t be the “Fools” this night. After trailing 7-4 at halftime to the visiting Minnesota Swarm, the Riggers outscored their guests 8-1 in the third quarter and finished the game with a 15-12 victory.
The teams looked evenly matched in the first, moving the ball well on offence and limiting chances on defense. The Swarm finished the quarter leading 3-2.
Minnesota continued to take control of the game in the second, jumping out to 6-2 and 7-3 leads before ending the half 7-4. They were dominant in controlling the ball on power play and penalty killing opportunities, but were unable to finish.
The turning point for Calgary was at 14:40 of the second quarter when Minnesota’s Travis Hill, took a 5-minute major for roughing. This gave the Riggers the man advantage to start the final half.
The hosts surged in the third quarter, scoring at the 19-second and 2 minute marks. The Swarm responded with one of their own seconds after, but that would be it until the final frame. The Roughnecks exploded with six fast and furious goals in six minutes, and charged 12-8 into the fourth quarter.
A Minnesota goalie change late in the third caused a minor slow in Calgary’s momentum, but they regained their footing early in the fourth. Just one minute into the period Kaleb Toth’s lightening shot missed the net, but Jeff Shattler swooped in to fire the rebound into the net.
The Swarm scored the next two goals in their comeback attempt, but the Riggers matched that with two more of their own to maintain a five point lead, 15-10. Minnesota pulled their goalie several times during the final minutes of the game and were rewarded twice. Calgary had opportunities to score into the empty net, but elected to rag the ball and maximize their time of possession. The 15-12 victory clinched the West Division title for the Roughnecks.