In a penalty-filled affair, the Roughnecks lost 17-12 to the Toronto Rock on Friday night
Toronto, ON -- With first place in the NLL on the line, the Calgary Roughnecks didn’t come out on top, losing to the Toronto Rock 17-12 at the Air Canada Centre.
Special teams became the issue for the Roughnecks, with the Rock scoring more than half, nine to be exact, with the man advantage.
“The games we lose are the games we take penalties and it’s not single guys, it’s team penalties are the ones that kill us,” said forward Dane Dobbie, who scored five goals and seven points in the loss. “It’s a group of guys in there and it’s the whole team that is taking them.”
The loss ends the Roughnecks (4-3) four-game winning streak, but the team holds onto first place in the West Division after the Edmonton Rush beat second place Washington Stealth.
It was the start the Roughnecks were looking for against their Ontario rival.
After missing last week’s game due to family commitments, Dane Dobbie opened the scoring five minutes in and finished the first quarter with a hat trick as the Roughnecks held a 5-3 lead.
“The goals I got I switched up and I went back to my thing and he made some big saves on me,” Dobbie said. “It goes back and forth but (Nick Rose) was a good goalie. Credit goes to him.”
Jeff Shattler added to the lead only 10 seconds into the second frame, but then the Rock took control. A hat trick from Garrett Billings, who ended the night with a sock trick and 10 points, and additional snipes from Kasey Beirnes and Mike Hobbins gave the Rock the 8-6 halftime lead.
Toronto expanded the lead to 11-7 about five minutes into the second half and that’s when Geoff Snider earned a five-minute fighting major and two-minute instigator penalty for trying to fight Rock forward Scott Evans.
The Rock scored three times on the ensuing extra-man advantage and it turned out to be enough for the win.
Head coach Curt Malawsky was not going to blame Snider though, saying the face-off specialist was trying to help the squad.
“Geoff was just trying to give the team a spark,” Malawsky said. “He went out and he challenged a guy. I think the guy said he was going to go, although I can’t say 100 per cent sure, it looked like they are going to go but didn’t.
“At the end of the day, (Scott) Evans made the right play, decided not to engage, his team was up by a bunch of goals.”
Both teams added three goals in the final stanza, as the emotions got the best of both teams.
“We had won four in a row and we dropped one to a really, really good team,” Malawsky said. “It’s not so much what we didn’t do, it’s what they did. They had a good game plan, they executed it, and won the individual battles they needed to win.”
Dobbie led the team in scoring with seven points, while Shawn Evans dished on four tallies. Curtis Dickson (2g, 1a), Jeff Shattler (2g, 1a) and Scott Ranger (1g, 2a) each tallied three points while Dan MacRae and Peter McFetridge added single markers.
Combined with their earlier win this season, the Rock swept the season series 2-0 and move to 6-2 on the season.
Roughnecks netminder Mike Poulin finished the night with 32 saves while playing 55 minutes. Backup Frankie Scigliano played the last part of the game, allowing the final goal of the game. Rock netminder Rose turned away 46 shots.
Calgary won’t have much time to dwell on the loss, as they will be taking on the Minnesota Swarm on Saturday night. The Swarm are 2-3 on the season, but feature a young, dynamic team.
“You got to have a short memory. The best way to do it is to get back on the horse,” Malawsky said.
Fans can watch live on NLL.com.