On Saturday night, the student past the teacher.

With his 36th save versus the Toronto Rock, Mike Poulin passed Curtis Palidwor for most career saves in a Calgary Roughnecks uniform with 2,118.

For Poulin, it was a moment that saw him best a goaltender he considered a mentor.

“It means a bit more to become the franchise leader knowing that it came from a friend of mine,” Poulin said, following a 19-13 win over the Rock.
In the first few years of his career, Poulin learned as much as he could from two of the best goalies of all time in Bob Watson and Anthony Cosmo.

A deal in 2010 saw Poulin traded from the Boston Blazers to the Roughnecks, and originally he split time with Matt King.

The following season was when Poulin was first given the reigns as the starting goaltender in the NLL.

His backup for the next two years was Curtis Palidwor, who returned to the Roughnecks to finish off his long career.

“Curtis was brought in to be a veteran to push and help show me the ropes,” Poulin said. “What he taught me was an even-keel, calm demeanor. He’s such a laid back guy both on and off the floor. When teams would go on a run and I’d come to the bench for a timeout, he was always there to calm me down and help me focus on the next shot. When you have a guy who is proven, having won a championship with this organization, it makes it a lot easier to see it and say ‘Yeah, listen to the veteran.’”

Palidwor is best known to the Roughnecks fans as the man who helped the team win their first NLL Champions Cup in 2004, during which he picked up the MVP honours in the final game.

Poulin realizes his name won’t be there forever as the franchise’s leader in career saves, and he’s looking forward to the time when he can be the Palidwor-type for an up-and-coming goalie.

“I’m going to be passed someday so I feel absolutely honoured that Curtis was up there, and I’m sure Curtis was thrilled he was up there for so long. He’s probably held that record for a handful of years but I hope someday Frankie (Scigliano) gets his due and he’s the future franchise leader in career saves because I’d be very proud of him due to the relationship we have now.”

Both Matthew Dinsdale and Karsen Leung may have been robbed of their first career NLL hat tricks. In the first quarter, Dinsdale scored what looked to be a good goal, but the referees waved it off. The Roughnecks were too late to challenge. He scored two more times in the game leaving him one short. And Leung fired three goals. But on the third goal, one referee called it good, and the other one waved it off. So close for both of these rising stars.

While I’m sure the coaching staff would have wished the team took a few less penalties, their powerplay remains on fire. Given five chances, the Roughnecks fired four goals for an 80 per cent success rate.

Dane Dobbie sniped four beautiful goals tonight, and continues to be a top the NLL with 30 goals scored, even though he’s played at least one less than game than everyone in the Top 5.

14: The Roughnecks scored 14 goals in the first half, the most on the NLL since 2005.

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