Calgary, AB -- Saturday night’s Calgary Roughnecks 9-8 win will certainly be one the Harnett family won’t forget for a long time.
Jon and Greg Harnett have shared the floor for the last two seasons, but tonight, they made their biggest impact yet.
Greg openly admits he’s never been a goal scorer ever since he graduated from the minor lacrosse level. In 15 NLL games, he’s only had two shots on goal.
He made the third one count.
With the teams stuck in a defensive battle, Greg came down in transition, scooped up the loose ball and potted his first ever NLL goal behind Rush netminder Aaron Bold to tie it up at 2-2.
“Curt (Malawsky) told us to high spike it and that’s what I did,” Greg said after the game, a smile on his face. “It was pretty lucky but I’ll take it.”
The entire Roughnecks bench nearly cleared out and joined Greg in his celebration.
“It was a nice little move, Jonny on the spot,” added his brother Jon. “He’s such a character guy on our team.
“It was just a huge goal for us, it got all the boys going in the second quarter.”
Greg added an assist for good measure as well.
The ball, Greg said, will eventually make its way back to their parent’s home and sit on the mantle.
Jon, on the other hand, well he had the possibility of playing a game he’d quickly want to forget.
In the offensive zone with a few minutes left in the first quarter, he took a five-minute major penalty while fighting for the loose ball. Then in the box, he had two more minutes added on for unsportsmanlike conduct after he punched the glass. He owned up to both of them, and had to pay the price. When Jon got out of the sin bin, he found his seat on the bench for the rest of the quarter.
“I just had to refocus in the dressing room, just restart,” he said. “It was a brand new game for me. I had to forget about it. I just had to turn it around in the second half.”
He did exactly that. He became a beast on the defensive side of the ball, playing what was likely his best half in a Roughnecks jersey. He ended the game with five loose balls, good enough for third on the team. He also forced two turnovers.
“I owed my teammates,” he commented. “I just left it all out there. I really wanted a win out there for the team.”
And after spending about 11-minutes in the “dog house”, he earned the praise of his bench boss.
“It comes down to trust,” Malawsky said. “Family is all about trust and I could have just as easily buried him on the bench, but he sat down for a little bit – the dog house so to speak – and he battled out of it.
“Just shows the type of character he is that he came back and I think he had a phenomenal second half. He knows we have trust in him and he has trust in us.”
1. Curtis Dickson – The Roughnecks love to use an offense by committee, and tonight the wheel landed on Dickson. His four goals were the difference and it appears his early season struggles are behind him.
2. Mike Poulin – I think it’s easy for the Roughnecks fans to take for granted who they have between the pipes. Despite facing 53 shots and seven penalty kills, the reigning NLL Goalie of the Year only allowed eight past him.
3. Shawn Evans – He didn’t put up the stats he’s used to this year -- only a goal and a helper -- but he took a beating on the offensive side and bounced back up each time. And his only marker was important, it tied up the game at 5-5 right before the end of the half.
It’s a move most NLL teams will try when they need to make sure to get the ball out of their offensive zone. Shorthanded after a media timeout, the Rush pulled Aaron Bold to make it five-on-five so the ball carrier couldn’t be double-teamed. I’ve always seen it work. Instead, Mike Carnegie forced the turnover, and was able to shoot it into the gaping cage before Bold could make it back in net.
It’s a moment most fans in the ‘Dome wouldn’t realize, but at the same time Carnegie scored his powerplay empty-net goal, Lee Stempniak was scoring the lone goal for the Calgary Flames on the television.
Much will be written about his four goals, but Dickson showed what he was made of in the last 15 seconds of the game. He got the ball in the offensive corner and had an empty net looking at him. Instead of trying to force the ball inside, he stood on the outside and took a beating from two or three Rush players as the seconds ticked away. Not only did he score the game-winner, he ensured Calgary’s fourth-straight win.
GOAL OF THE GAME
It was back during Curtis Dickson’s rookie year where he earned the moniker “Superman” for his diving goals from either behind the net or through the crease. It’s a move he hasn’t been able to use much this year. But with his team down 2-0, it was Dickson who opened the scoring when he pulled off his vintage move and slipped one past Bold. The goal was awesome, but his celebration was even better. He stood up and mimicked to rip apart his jersey and unveil the ‘S’ on his chest like Cam Newton.
HIT OF THE GAME
Seconds were clicking down in the third quarter, Rush defender Brett Mydske had his head down trying to pick up the loose ball. Jon Harnett came flying in and bowled him over as the buzzer went.
STAT OF THE GAME
79% -- Water’s wet. The sky is blue. Geoff Snider wins draws. Something’s will never change. Tonight, he was 15 for 19 on the draws, and added three assists for good measure. So far this season, he’s clicking at a 78.3 per cent rate, eight per cent better than his brother Bob Snider out in Washington. It’ll be interesting to see those two battle again two weeks from now in Everett.
“Our fans deserved it. We start out slow but we wanted to get he win for them also. They are loud out there and I’m happy we got the win for them,” said Jon Harnett, after winning for the first time at the ‘Dome this season.
Due to family commitments, Dane Dobbie did not make the trip to Calgary and was a scratch. In his absence, Aaron Pascas saw action for the third time this year and took advantage of it – earning three assists in the victory.