CALGARY, AB — Despite an amazing performance by Curtis ‘Superman’ Dickson, the Calgary Roughnecks came up short in their quest to qualify to compete for the 2013 Champion’s Cup.
Dickson fired seven goals and added an assist in the second half, but the Roughnecks still suffered a disappointing 14-13 setback to the Washington Stealth in front of 9,583 appreciative fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“It’s a tough game; a tough pill to swallow,” said Dickson. “Obviously our main goal is to win a championship here. I’d trade all those goals for a chance to play next week. It’s going to be tough.”
Dane Dobbie had a hat trick and two helpers for the Roughnecks, while Shawn Evans scored once and set up three others. Joe Resetarits and Scott Ranger also scored, while Jeff Shattler had four assists.
“I was proud of my guys,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky. “They battled hard, but the end result is that we didn’t get the job done. It stings and hurts. It’s going to be a long, long time before these guys get over it, but I’d go to battle with those guys any time.”
Athan Iannucci and Rhys Duch paced the Stealth attack with three goals and four assists each, while Brett Bucktooth (2g, 2a), Justin Salt (2g), Lewis Ratcliff (1g, 3a), Cliff Smith (1g, 3a), Dean Hill (1g, 1a) and Tim Henderson (1g) also scored for Washington.
“At the end of the day we weren’t good enough,” said Calgary captain Andrew McBride, who finished the game with three assists. “Kudos to their team over there. They played a good game and we just didn’t have enough jam and enough juice when we needed to.”
Tyler Richards stopped 39 of 52 shots he faced to pick up the win in the Stealth net, while Calgary netminder Mike Poulin finished with 29 saves at the other end of the floor.
Early in the game, the Roughnecks built up a 10-1 advantage on the shot clock, but couldn’t find a way to solve Richards. Smith opened the scoring for the Stealth at 8:15 of the first quarter before Ratcliff put Washington up 2-0 less than two minutes later.
After Evans scored a power-play goal for Calgary 49 seconds into the second quarter, Dobbie notched a short-handed marker 81 seconds later.
Following three straight goals by the Stealth, Dobbie took a long pass from Evans and fired a shot past Richards. Dobbie completed his hat trick 14 seconds later before Resetarits scored a short-handed goal to tie the game at 5-5.
Duch, Bucktooth and Ianucci then reeled off three straight goals to give Washington an 8-5 lead heading into the half-time intermission.
The Stealth upped that to a 10-5 lead on goals by Henderson and Hill early in the third, before Dickson scored a natural hat trick to pull the Riggers within a pair.
After Bucktooth scored for the Stealth, Dickson and Ranger replied for the Riggers to pull Calgary within a goal heading into the fourth quarter.
Dickson continued his scoring output with three more goals in the final frame, while Duch scored twice, including the game winner, for Washington, which will now host the National Lacrosse League championship game next weekend.
Calgary pressed hard in the game’s dying moments, but the Riggers couldn’t find a way to notch the equalizer.
“We had about four or five quality looks right on top of the goaltender,” Malawsky said. “He made some big saves. We got to the net and that’s what you want. We’re not standing around the outside settling for the outside shot. We got right up on top of him and he made some saves.
“That’s the way it goes in sports: you win, you lose. It’s going to be a tough pill to swallow because we put a lot of time and effort into this to come up empty.”