Story by Tom Frank
Photos by Marcelo Saguez
Scotiabank Saddledome – The Calgary Roughnecks advanced to the NLL Semi-Finals with their win over the Colorado Mammoth,10-6, in front of 10,092 fans at home. The Mammoth were the only team to defeat Calgary twice during the regular season this year.
Both teams showed up for the playoffs, as those in attendance witnessed end-to-action throughout the game. Defence was the strong point for both teams.
Colorado’s powerplay got them on the board early with a tally at 2:19 of the first. They would go on to finish the quarter with a 3-2 lead, outshooting the hosts 13-7.
Starting in the second quarter, Calgary held the visitors scoreless for almost two quarters. During that time, the Roughnecks managed to overcome their deficit, scoring four times, and building a lead of 6-3 going into the half.
The teams exchanged markers in the third. John Grant Jr. finally got on the board by making a fake on one defender and continuing on, straight down the middle. Calgary’s “Superman,” Curtis Dickson, quickly replied, making it 7-4 Calgary going into the final frame.
The Mammoth managed to get within two goals in the fourth quarter on the strength of two identical powerplay tallies by Grant Jr. – shots over the right shoulder of Mike Poulin from the point.
Calgary’s tender, the “Poulin Wall,” was definitely the difference in the game. He finished the game with 43 saves on 49 shots. His opponent,
Chris Levis was 33 for 41.
The save of the game came at 2:52 remaining in the fourth. After some nifty passing, getting Calgary’s goalie moving, Poulin dove across the crease and made the glove save on Colorado’s Dan Carey. The tally would have brought the visitors within one.
Calgary replied with two empty net goals, to seal the victory.
The Roughnecks meet the defending NLL champions, Washington Stealth, Saturday, May 7, 7:30pm at the Scotiabank Saddledome.