CALGARY, AB — Shawn Evans and Dane Dobbie had big nights to lead the Calgary Roughnecks to a 15-12 win over the Vancouver Stealth in front of 8,957 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.
Evans had a hat trick to go with six assists, while Dobbie scored five times and set up another as the Roughnecks (2-2) bounced back from a 15-8 road setback they suffered to the Edmonton Rush on Friday.
“It was a wake-up call last night and I think we answered,” said Evans, who is the reigning National Lacrosse League MVP. “We knew we had to come out and we knew we had to win. It was a big game for us after Edmonton taking it to us last night. We needed a breakout game for our offence to get us going. Hopefully this leads us in the right direction.”
Dobbie scored three of his goals in the fourth quarter, including an insurance marker during a Calgary power play when he converted a nice feed from Evans to put the Riggers up by three with just 3:30 remaining in regulation.
“Shawn’s unbelievable,” Dobbie said. “He’s the best passer in the league bar none. He gets you the ball when you need it. He’s awesome. I can’t say enough about him.”
In turn, Evans commended Dobbie for his offensive outburst against the Stealth (2-2).
“You give him the ball, he drives that net and he puts the ball in the net,” said Evans, who referred to Dobbie as a “heart-and-soul” player.
Calgary assistant coach Bruce Codd praised both Evans and Dobbie for providing a spark every time the Riggers needed one.
“Any time that they got one, it seemed that one of those two guys kind of answered with one,” said Codd, who applauded Evans for the way he ran Calgary’s offence. “He definitely had a very strong night up front. The one thing that we’ve been harping on a little bit lately is that we haven’t been moving the ball as quickly. I thought tonight he really did a really good job of distributing it which makes it tough on the defence.”
Daryl Veltman also had a hat trick to go with two helpers for the ’Necks, while Jeff Shattler had two goals and three assists. Curtis Dickson (1g, 2a), Mike Carnegie (1g, 1a) and Scott Ranger (4a) also had multiple-point performances.
Goalie Mike Poulin finished with 28 saves to backstop Calgary to the bounce-back victory.
Rhys Duch led the Stealth attack with a hat trick and two assists, while Lewis Ratcliff scored twice and set up another.
Jeff Moleski, Cliff Smith, Tyler Digby, Mike Grimes, Billy Hostrawser, Nick Weiss and Tyler Garrison also scored for Vancouver, while goalie Tyler Richards finished the game with 45 saves in the Stealth net.
The Stealth took an early 2-0 lead over the Riggers as Hostrawser notched an even-strength marker before Ratcliff scored on a two-man advantage for Vancouver.
Shattler then replied with a power-play goal for Calgary at 7:27 of the opening frame before scoring 71 seconds later to tie up the game.
The ’Necks took their first lead of the game on a power-play goal by Evans at 3:09 of the second.
Poulin then stood his ground to turn aside a breakaway attempt by Vancouver defenceman Matt Beers before Evans hit the post at the other end of the floor.
Duch appeared to notch the equalizer for the Stealth, but the goal was waved off after a review due to a crease violation.
During a Stealth man advantage, both Ratcliff and Cody Bremner rang shots off the post behind Poulin.
Duch then took a great bounce pass from Ilija Gajic and fired a quick shot past Poulin to pull the stealth even at 12:01 of the second. Just 20 seconds later, Vancouver regained a one-goal lead on a goal by Moleski.
Veltman counted Calgary’s third power-play goal of the first half at 13:20 of the second before Dobbie put the Riggers up 5-4 just 38 seconds later.
Both teams scored five times in a back-and-forth third quarter before Dobbie and Evans led the charge in a five-goal fourth quarter to help the Riggers erase the memory of the disappointing loss to the Rush one night earlier.
“Those are really tough, the back-to-backs,” said Codd, while noting that the Stealth were also tired after a 14-13 win at home over the Colorado Mammoth on Friday. “It’s nice when the other team had one as well. It was definitely a quick game. Both teams seemed to have their legs even though they played last night.”
Next Saturday, Jan. 25 the Riggers will host the second annual Super Hero Night at the Saddledome (7 p.m.) with the Mammoth providing the opposition.