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.
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.
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.
Curtis Dickson 3-3, Shawn Evans 2-3, Daryl Veltman /Jeff Shattler 2-2
Joash Sanderson 3-6, Garrett Billings 3-4, Dan Carey 2-0
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