In a very strong defensive effort like the Roughnecks put up Saturday night, it’s hard to pinpoint one defender who stood out.
But for goalie Mike Poulin, it was easy — the man with the ‘C’ over his heart.
“Without a doubt, the wily old veteran Andrew McBride was fantastic tonight,” said Poulin after a 15-12 Roughnecks win over the Stealth. “He soaked so many shots from the outside shooters. He was not afraid to take one for the team.
“He’s one of those guys, he doesn’t get the credit, he doesn’t get the accolades and the fans don’t see that when they are cheering on all the goals. He’s got a ‘C’ on his jersey for a reason, and I’m extremely proud to play behind him because the effort he through out there tonight was fantastic.”
Poulin selected one play behind his reasoning. It was early on in the game, and the two teams were still feeling each other out. A Stealth forward wound up and fired a shot toward Poulin. McBride stepped in front and took the shot right of the side of the cranium.
“When you see your guy willing to step in front of a shot, it pumps you up,” Poulin opined. “The adrenaline is flushing and you’re feeling great and not thinking about the repercussions at the time but it gets the guys going showing what you can do for this team.”
McBride wasn’t one to crave the spotlight after the game, saying he needed to be better at getting in the shooting lanes and sacrificing his body.
“It didn’t feel great, that’s for sure but that’s what you have to do,” said McBride. “I have to do a better job of being in the shooting lanes. The last couple of games, I’ve been ducking it so it’s good to be able to sit back there and soak a few.”
It was a stark contrast for the Roughnecks on the defensive side compared to the night before.
Versus the Edmonton Rush, it was the Roughnecks who allowed 15 goals.
The Roughnecks were consistently forcing the shots to the outside, creating turnovers and making the 30-second clock run out. The Stealth only had 40 shots all night, while the Riggers had 60.
The other defensive play that stood our tonight happened late in the game. The Stealth still had just enough time where it was possible to complete a comeback from three goals down, and the Roughnecks were shorthanded to boot. A Stealth shot missed just wide, and it flew up in the air off the endboards. Jon Harnett came out from nowhere, jumped up, grabbed the loose ball out from the grasps of a Stealth stick. The Roughnecks killed off the rest of the time.
Poulin singled out McBride, but defensive coach Bruce Codd selected Mike Carnegie. The reasons were simple – Carnegie succeeded in the tough responsibility of defending either Rhys Duch or Lewis Ratcliff, and added in a goal and assist to boot.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
12 – Everyone will look at Shawn Evan’s statline and see the hat trick and six assists, but it’s the number 12 that stands out. That’s how many loose balls the reigning NLL MVP scooped up on Sunday. It tied his career-high and proved the veteran was going to do absolutely everything to pick up the victory.
3. Shawn Evans – Three goals and six assists vaults him into second in the NLL for points, and first for assists.
2. Mike Carnegie – Duch and Ratcliff have proven in the past they could score eight points at will. To help hold them to eight points combined, that’s a worthy star.
1. Dane Dobbie – Three of his five goals came in the fourth quarter with the Stealth pushing for a comeback.