By virtue of a 9-8 win over the Edmonton Rush on Friday, the Calgary Roughnecks leapfrogged over the Vancouver Stealth and into a playoff spot.
Curtis Dickson scored four goals, including the game winner with 2:55 to play in the fourth quarter, to lead the Roughnecks (5-10) to their first two-game winning streak of the National Lacrosse League season.
“It’s one of those things where we’ve got to keep it rolling,” said Dickson, who now has 43 goals on the season. “It’s never easy against those guys (the Rush). They always play us tough, especially in our building. It’s was nice to build up an early lead. Obviously they came back a bit, but we managed to weather the story and squeak out a close one.”
Earlier in the evening, the Stealth (4-10) suffered a 14-7 road setback to the Toronto Rock to allow the Riggers to move past them in the West Division standings with a win.
That’s exactly what the ’Necks did much to the delight of the 14,108 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“We have the best fans in the league,” said goalie Frankie Scigliano, who stopped 41 of 49 shots fired his way, including one off the stick of Edmonton forward Ben McIntosh with just seconds to go in the game. “They’ve supported us all year no matter what’s been going on.
Dickson also had an assist to finish with five points, while Shawn Evans had a hat trick to go with a helper.
“Superman did what he did late in the game to put us up by two and (give us) a little bit of comfort and Frankie made the ones that he needed to especially late in the game,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky. “We’re getting better and we’re playing better down the stretch here. Our guys are believing and they’re staying with things”
Geoff Snider and Jeff Shattler both finished with a goal and an assist, while Daryl Veltman and Dane Dobbie chipped in with three helpers each for the Riggers, who don’t have much time to rest as they’ll play the back half of the home-and-home affair against the Rush in Edmonton on Saturday night (7 p.m.) at Rexall Place.
McIntosh had three goals and an assist for the Rush (9-5), while Mark Matthews scored twice and set up two others. Robert Church, Adrian Sorichetti and Zack Greer also scored, while goalie Aaron Bold finished with 33 saves.
McIntosh opened the scoring for the Rush at 4:21 of the first quarter when he converted a feed from Jarrett Davis.
Dickson tied things up five minutes later when he took a behind-the-back pass from Evans before flicking a submarine shot past Bold.
Shattler then drove hard to the net and snapped a shot past Bold before Evans scored on a long-range shot through traffic on a delayed penalty to the Rush to put the Riggers up 3-1 through one quarter of play.
The ’Necks took a 4-1 lead at 5:55 of the second quarter on a great goal by Dickson, who went airborne from behind the net to tuck a shot into the top corner behind Bold.
After Church and Matthews replied with goals for the Rush, Dickson completed his hat trick at 8:02 of the second when he took a pass from Karsen Leung before leaping in the air and snapping a shot past Bold.
Evans then notched a pair of goals 1:44 apart early in the third quarter to put the Riggers up 7-3. On both goals, Evans shook off checks from Rush defenders – first Adrian Sorichetti and then John Lintz – before firing shots past Bold.
Following a goal by Snider late in the third, Edmonton staged a comeback in the final frame as Greer, Matthews, Sorichetti and McIntosh scored to pull the Rush within one.
Dickson then scored the winner while the Roughnecks were killing a penalty as he worked hard to get into the slot before whipping a shot past Bold.
McIntosh completed his hat trick just 23 seconds after Dickson’s fourth goal of the game, but that’s as close as the Rush would get.