The Roughnecks didn’t have the luck of the Irish on their side on St. Patrick’s Day.
Despite leading 4-3 after one quarter of play, the Riggers dropped a 17-8 decision to the Georgia Swarm at the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Ga., on Friday.
“We went down quick 3-0 and then we did a good job of getting back into the game,” said forward Wesley Berg, who finished with two goals and three assists. “We’ve been in this rut where we get scored on and we kind of start to implode from there, whether it’s penalties or just not getting loose balls that end up in the back of our net. It’s been the tale of the tape lately and that’s why we’ve been giving up leads like that.”
Curtis Dickson had a hat trick and two helpers for the Roughnecks (4-8), while Tyson Bell scored twice.
After putting up seven goals and four assists in Calgary’s previous win over Georgia earlier this month, forward Dane Dobbie was held off the scoresheet on Friday, although coach Curt Malawsky explained that was a bit of an oversight.
“He had one on the power play early in the game – they gave it to Mitch Wilde so that was a mistake on the scoresheet,” said Malawsky, while adding that Georgia goalie Mike Poulin did a great job of preventing him from scoring more goals. “Poulin made a couple nice saves on him in tight – particularly late in the third quarter off a rebound he made a real nice arm save. Dobbes is an old-school warrior. He was doing everything he can. Their adjustment was ramping up the pressure.”
Miles Thompson had four goals and one assist for the Swarm (8-3), who avenged an 18-11 loss they suffered to the ’Necks in Calgary on March 4.
“The big difference was loose balls and second possessions that we got last game and that we didn’t get (on Friday),” explained Berg. “They did a good job getting a lot of resets and getting the ball back and offensively we didn’t get that. We didn’t play as fast or move the ball as well as we did last time we played them and it showed on the scoreboard.”
Calgary goalie Frank Scigliano did his best to keep the ’Necks in the game with a 53-save performance.
“I thought Frankie was exceptional late in the game,” said Malawsky. “He got better as the game went on. There’s no quit in that team. There’s a lot of fighters, a lot of warriors and a lot of proud guys. It’s tough times for us right now, but we’ve just got to stay positive and just keep trying to move forward.”
Johnny Powless had a hat trick and four helpers for Georgia, while Randy Staats (2g, 3a), Shayne Jackson (2g, 1a), Lyle Thompson (1g, 4a) and Kiel Matisz (1g, 3a) had strong performances. Chad Tutton, Jordan MacIntosh, Ethan O’Connor and Mitch Belisle also scored.
Poulin, who recorded a franchise-record 52 wins in goal for the Roughnecks from 2010-16 before signing as a free agent with the Swarm over the off-season, made 33 saves in the Georgia net to improve his record this season to 7-3.
The Riggers will play their third straight road game in Saskatoon next Friday against the Saskatchewan Rush before returning home to the ’Dome to host the New England Black Wolves the following night.
“We’ve got a big weekend coming up,” said Berg. “We’ve just got to think about the first one. Sask has had our number, so that’s a big one. It’s a big double header. It’s going to take a lot for us to win those and turn the season around.”