CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Roughnecks jumped out to a 4-2 lead in front of 13,212 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday before the Rochester Knighthawks rallied for a 13-7 win.
Shawn Evans had a hat trick and an assist for the Roughnecks (2-8), while Karsen Leung scored twice and set up another.
“We battled throughout,” Leung said. “It was close at the half and then they pulled through in the third quarter. We’ve just got to bounce back. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves – onto the next one.”
Calgary coach Curt Malawsky was disappointed his players weren’t able to build upon their 12-11 overtime win over the Edmonton Rush last Sunday.
“We played a different emotional game in Edmonton than we did tonight,” Malawsky said. “When things got tough we just didn’t keep fighting through it. We started looking for answers and referees and reasons and straight up excuses. On the bench in Edmonton, we just said ‘I don’t care. I don’t what the ref does. I don’t care what they’re going to do. We’re going to worry about ourselves and focus on ourselves.’ And we did. We played a lot more of a mentally tough game in Edmonton. It’s a learning lesson for our group. Maybe we were feeling a little too good about ourselves beating Edmonton up there. Who knows?”
Daryl Veltman also had a pair of goals, while Dane Dobbie, Matthew Dinsdale and Jeff Shattler chipped in with two assists each.
Jordan Hall led the way for the Knighthawks (7-3) with three goals, while Joe Walters scored twice and set up five others. Aaron Wilson and Craig Point had two goals each, while Paul Dawson, Ian Llord, Sid Smith and Brad Self also scored.
Mike Poulin started in net for the Riggers, but was replaced by Frankie Scigliano after giving up 10 goals on 30 shots. Scigliano went on to make eight saves in a relief appearance.
Rochester goalie Matt Vinc stopped 41 of 48 shots he faced to record the victory.
“He’s been the reigning Goalie of the Year the last couple years,” Malawsky said. “I imagine that’s for a reason. You saw that tonight.”
The Roughnecks had a great chance to get on the board in the game’s first minute, but Vinc stood his ground to stop a shot by Garrett McIntosh.
At the other end of the floor, Lloyd opened the scoring 68 seconds into the first quarter when he fired a shot over Poulin’s shoulder and into the net.
Playing in front of their hometown fans at the ’Dome for the first time since beating the Vancouver Stealth 16-13 on Feb. 21, the Riggers pressed hard to notch the equalizer. Both Dobbie and Dickson rang shots off the crossbar behind Vinc, who also stopped Manning on a breakaway.
The ’Necks were rewarded for their hard work at 12:10 of the first when Veltman took a pass from Evans and fired a sidearm shot into the top corner behind Vinc during a man-up situation for Calgary.
Leung then scored back-to-back goals with 21 seconds to go in the first and at 2:25 of the second to put the Riggers up 3-1.
Following a goal by Wilson to pull the K-Hawks within one, Evans fired a shot through Vinc’s legs to put the ’Necks back up by a pair.
After Dobbie rang another shot off the post, Paul Dawson scored in transition at 10:56 of the second before Point tied up the game 69 seconds later.
Rochester then went up 6-4 thanks to two quick goals by Wilson and Hall in the first 68 seconds of the third quarter.
Veltman notched his second of the game at 11:14 of the second before Smith and Walters replied with goals for Rochester to give the K-Hawks an 8-5 lead after three quarters of play.
Walters added another 33 seconds into the fourth before Hall put Rochester up 10-5 just 61 seconds later. That prompted Malawsky to replace Poulin in net with Scigliano.
The move seemed to spark the Riggers as Evans scored back-to-back goals less than two minutes apart to pull Calgary within three goals before Hall, Self and Point answered right back to seal the victory for Rochester.
The Roughnecks will look to get back in the win column when the host the New England Black Wolves at the ’Dome next Friday (7 p.m.).
“We’ve got to do a better job as a group to not only move on quicker, but to believe in our abilities and believe in ourselves,” said Calgary captain Andrew McBride. “I don’t know why that’s becoming an issue. Maybe it’s because of the record. Maybe it’s because of the situation we’re in, but last year we didn’t do that. We shook things off and we refocused right away and we need to get back to refocusing right away when something negative happens.”