story by Tom Frank
Scotiabank Saddledome – The Calgary Roughnecks played host to the Toronto Rockin their 2013 home opener. The teams played twice last season, each team with avictory in the others barn. Curt Malawsky made his debut as the Riggers new benchboss along with Bruce Codd as defensive co-ordinator and Bob McMahon on offence.
Noticeably absent was Dane Dobbie, serving a one game suspension from an altercation in the ‘Necks last playoff game, May 5 vs the Edmonton Rush. Also missingwas the recently retired, Kaleb Toth. Toth will be honored, March 2, as the first recipient of the “Forever A Roughneck” program.
Stephen Hoar got the visitors on the board early, scoring seven seconds off the opening face-off. Jeff Shattler replied about two minutes after, finding space through the 5-holeof former Roughneck, Nick Rose. Calgary’s transition made it quickly up the floor early
in the quarter, but couldn’t capitalize. Some good end to end action. The teams looked evenly matched and exchanged goals. However, the edge went to the Rock, with a tally from Blaine Manning on the power play late in the quarter and up 3-2. It could have been a 4-2 lead for Toronto if not for the keen eye of Coach Malawsky to challenge the play. The goal was called back for crease violation.
The Roughnecks received a couple power play chances at the beginning of the second quarter, but Toronto managed to score short handed with a break by Rob Marshall. That was the only goal until almost the eleven minute point of the quarter. Joe Resetarits, one of three Calgary rookies, kept the hosts to within one goal by scoring over the shoulder of Rose from the top of the crease. The Rock’s transition came up big, scoring the next two goals about 40 seconds apart to go up 6-3. Calgary replied with a goal from Aaron Pascas, acquired via trade from Toronto, but the Rock would score one more before the half to maintain their three goal lead.
During a half time interview, you could tell Coach Malawsky was not too happy with his troops, as you could barely hear him over the sound system due to his already hoarse voice.
The Riggers started the third quarter two men down with penalties to Curtis Manningand Mike Carnegie at the end of the half. Toronto managed to score once as Kasey Beirnes finished a nice zig-zag play to the crease. Calgary killed off the remaining penalty and was awarded a power play of their own shortly after. Shawn Evans scored his second of the night, top corner. At 2:41, Nolan Heavenor was given a 5 minute major for roughing. On the play, Garrett Billings took a long shot which hit the post and Heavenor was charged with a late hit. The Rock took advantage of this time to go up 10-5 with two goals from Josh Sanderson.
Calgary looked like they were struggling with the Rock D and Rose was being stingy in net. It wasn’t until the final minute of the quarter when Heavenor intercepted a pass and passed up to Andrew McBride who scored through the legs of Rose. Daryl Veltman scored 19 seconds later to bring the the Riggers back to within three (7-10). The Roughnecks would need a strong finish to get back into the game.
Toronto scored first again in the final quarter. Evans replied with his hat-trick goal, 18 seconds after. Curtis Dickson blasted an underhand shot that beat Rose top corner and Geoff Snider scored 7 seconds later, off the draw. This brought the Roughnecks to within one (10-11). The 11,653 fans in attendance started to “bring the noise,” cheering on their local heros. With a delayed call against Calgary, the Rock put an extra attacker on the floor and Beirnes scored his second of the night. The crowd quieted as Beirnes scored his hat-trick with 1:14 remaining.
The ‘Necks played the remainder of the game with Mike Poulin on the bench. Evans played goalie at one instance, and made the save. He then passed up to Curtis Manning to Dickson for the score. This got the crowd energized. Unfortunately, Calgary lost the final draw and Toronto ragged the clock down to 13 seconds. The game finished 13-11 in favour of the Rock.
The Colorado Mammoth visit Calgary, Saturday, January 19.
The Rock visit Edmonton tomorrow night for the Rush home opener.