News, notes and analysis from Kaleb Toth Night on Saturday.
Calgary, AB -- It’s only fitting that the man who helped build the Calgary Roughnecks from year one will always be able to keep a close eye on his team.
In a pre-game ceremony that lasted about 20 minutes, a Kaleb Toth banner was raised to the rafters as the Calgarian became the first inductee into the “Forever A Roughneck” program.
“It’s the perfect way to honour, no other way to put it but a legend, like himself,” said Curtis Dickson, who played with Toth for the last two years of his career. “He’s done so much for this organization and for the team and this city. It was really fitting to see that happen for him and go up in the rafters like that.”
The banner will be moved over to join the fellow reminders of the 2004 and 2009 NLL Championships. Toth was apart of both.
With family and dignitaries on one side of him and former teammates on the other, Toth spoke proudly of his time with the Roughnecks.
“Besides my marriage and the birth of my two children, the championships of 2004 and 2009 were some of my favourite memories,” said Toth in his speech, who owns most of the keys offensive franchise records.
“I truly have been blessed throughout my lacrosse career. I’ve had the chance to play with and be coached by the best in the world.”
Toth, who retired in December after 13 seasons in the NLL, started tearing up at the reception he received when he walked on the floor, something he expected for the night.
He received a custom hand-made authentic wooden lacrosse stick from the organization, a family trip to Disneyland from the Calgary Flames and an engraved watch from his teammates.
Fans gave him a few standing ovations, trying to pay their respect to a man who helped grow the sport of lacrosse in Calgary to what it is now.
Unfortunately, after the ceremony was cleaned up, the Roughnecks lost 18-13 at the hands of the Edmonton Rush.
“I thought it was first class,” said Roughnecks coach Curt Malawsky, who won the 2009 NLL Championship with Kaleb as a teammate.
“I thought the organization did a great job, it was great to see Kaleb and his family and it was really emotional. I think they sent the guy off as a class act and pioneer for lacrosse in Alberta. We were going to do everything that we can to show our respect to him by going out and outworking them and getting the win. It was just a tough night for all of us. We were really glad for Kaleb.”
The ultimate digital sign to show how much Kaleb Toth meant to Calgary and the sport of lacrosse across the country – #ForeverToth was trending on Twitter during the game. As well, @NLLRoughnecks was trending across the country for the first time ever.
As one of the positives to take from this game, the Roughnecks are still tied for first place in the West Division after the game with a record of 5-5. In fact, five of the nine teams in the NLL all have five wins on the season so far. Five of the Roughnecks last six games come across West Division rivals.
We’ve talked about the play of rookies Joe Resetarits and Matthew Dinsdale here before, but they keep getting better after every game. Resetarits had two goals and two assists to set an early-career high with four points. He nearly finished off the hat trick as well late in the game. Dinsdale has now picked up points in three straight games -- two assists tonight – and also won his first career faceoff.
1. Daryl Veltman – He’s not much of the rah-rah guy on the floor, but the man can dish the ball from the top with the best of them. Tonight, he finished off with one goal, seven assists and eight points to lead the Roughnecks. It was one off his single-game career high of 9 points set back in his first regular season game ever as a member of the Boston Blazers.
2. Joe Resetarits – As his responsibility has grown with the Roughnecks, so has his output. His four point-night set a career high, and he was always around the ball when he was on the floor
3. Jeff Shattler – He turned in a three goal, six-point night like he was does most evenings. But all of goals seemed to give a little spark to the team, something they needed in the game.
“I think that’s one of the issues we are going to talk about is getting our swagger back. We have some of the best defensive players, some of the best lacrosse players in the world and we need to start playing like that. If you go back and watch some of the old NFL guys and NBA guys, they had swagger to the point where people made fun of them and say ‘look at these cocky guys.’ Maybe that works for people and maybe that’s what we are missing is the confidence and the ability to go out and do it instead of waiting for things to happen.” Captain Andrew McBride.