Emotions were high on Saturday night, as the Toronto Rock celebrated the career of Colin Doyle and watched as his jersey was raised to the rafters.
Toronto rode that emotion into the first half as they blanked the Roughnecks in the first quarter and allowed just a single marker in the second quarter. Calgary fought back in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as they fell 16-10.
Here’s five things we took from the game:
1) GREGGY’S FREE!
Welcome back, Greg Harnett! The alternate captain was a welcome addition to the Riggers line-up on Saturday, after serving his five-game suspension for a hit on the Colorado Mammoth’s Jeremy Noble.
Getting back to his physical style of play right away, Harnett laid the body on a number of Rock players early in the game. Harnett scooped up three loose balls in the tilt and scored a huge short-handed goal, which gave the team some life in the third quarter.
But we’re still not sure how he scored this goal …
2) THE EXTRA MAN
The Roughnecks powerplay is alive and well.
Of the team’s 10 goals in the game, five of them came with the man advantage. Curtis Dickson was the man responsible for three, with the other two coming from the sticks of Dane Dobbie and Jeff Shattler. Scoring on five of eight chances (62.5%) in the contest, the Roughnecks improved their season mark to 53.57%.
On the other side of the floor, the Riggers allowed three powerplay goals on eight shots. While that improves Calgary’s overall penalty kill rating to 52.73%, those three goals were huge for the Rock.
Toronto used the powerplay to score back-to-back goals at the end of the second quarter to put the Roughnecks behind 5-1 and then used it again at the start of the third to go up 6-1 and make things seems out of reach for the Roughnecks.
3) THE START
How a game begins has become crucial to the success of the Roughnecks so far this season.
In games where the team has come out strong and held a lead through the first quarter, they have compiled a 4-1 record. Meanwhile, should they fall behind early and trail after one quarter of play, they are 0-5 on the season.
That trend was evident on Saturday, as Calgary trailed 3-0 at the end of the first quarter and couldn’t make up any ground, despite pushing extremely hard.
4) BETWEEN THE PIPES
It wasn’t an ideal performance from either Frank Scigliano or Christian Del Bianco, as they combined to make 42 saves on 58 shots in a losing effort.
But you can’t drop all the blame on the two, young netminders.
Facing 58 shots on the night and a lot from high-scoring areas, the two goalies made some big saves. None bigger than this fantastic arm save made by Del Bianco on a breakaway chance from Rock defender Jesse Gamble.
5) JUST RIDICULOUS
We warned you prior to the game that Dickson had a reputation for scoring silly goals against Nick Rose.
And what did he do? He just threw one under-handed and behind his back for a goal. No big deal.