By: Riley Pollock – 27.03.24

Tanner Cook didn’t crumble under overtime pressure.

Instead, the third-year Roughneck scored what some may call a season-saving goal on Friday night at the Rough House.

The Riggers now sit 6-8 on the season after their thrilling10-9 overtime win over Albany, and find themselves just one win out of the playoff picture thanks to Cook’s heroics.

He says his chemistry with Jesse King and the rest of the offence sealed the deal on the win.

“We’ve got a big left side,” he explained. “Me, Jesse, Dan (Taylor) and Logan (Schuss) are all big bodies that like to get in the mix a little bit. We’ve mostly been building that chemistry for three years now and know how each other plays.

“We don’t even have to think about it anymore, we just know where each other are going to be, what our tendencies are so we like to think we’re a pretty good strong unit there on the left side and our offence as whole. We work together well and have definitely been building that chemistry over the years.”

Cook described what he saw on the OT winner, which was his 21st goal of the season.

“Every shift in overtime you’re trying to do what you can to put the ball in the back of the net,” said Cook. “We had a couple quick shifts there back-to-back. King set a good pick for me, I came back over top, Tyler Pace ended up feeding me for it and I knew the goalies tendencies in the scout, shot to it and ended up finding the back of the net. It was a big goal to give us a crucial win late in the season.”

The offence has seen huge games and quieter games lately but the product of Courtice, Ont., says he feels the group is coming together alongside their offensive coach, Troy Cordingley.

“It’s been an adjustment with new staff,” he said. “I think Troy has come in and done a great job for us offensively. He’s been an open mind, working hand-in-hand with us, not pushing too many things on us. He’s built a comfortable relationship with us as players.

“We’ve figured out the way his coaching is and he has built that good relationship with us as players to build trust with us, especially late in games with play calls.”

Next up, it’s a home-and-home with Saskatchewan April 5-6 with the ’Necks hosting the rival Rush on the first night (TICKETS). Cook knows it’s a make-or-break weekend following this week’s bye.

“We always have a good game with Saskatchewan,” Cook said. “We know they are sitting in close to the same position we are, trying to seal the deal to get into the playoffs. It’s going to be two huge games coming down the stretch.

“Hopefully we can use the crowd to our advantage night one and get the win at home and then go there and pick up a big road win.

“It will be crucial for us heading towards the playoffs.”

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