Following an emotional pre-game ceremony to induct Tracey Kelusky into the ‘Forever A Roughneck’ program, Wesley Berg had the best game of his National Lacrosse League career.
After registering a career high nine points to lead to lead the Roughnecks (5-9) to a 18-13 win over the New England Black Wolves (6-7) on Saturday, Berg recalled watching Kelusky play for his hometown Coquitlam Adanacs of the Western Lacrosse Association.
“He was always one of my favourite players,” said Berg, who took in Kelusky’s banner-raising ceremony before he and his teammates responded with one of their best performances of the season. “It’s pretty exciting just to be a part of it. The whole night was good and we came out on top too.”
Berg had five goals and four assists, while Curtis Dickson matched his teammate’s output with three goals and six helpers in front of 10,775 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“We had to win this game,” said Berg. “We’ve got to win every game from here on in if we want to get a good spot in the playoffs and get things going and have a chance of winning this championship.
“We’ve been on quite a skid, so we needed that. It’s good for morale and it’s good for everybody in the organization.”
Dane Dobbie also had a solid outing with three goals and four assists for the Riggers, who bounced back from a 13-10 setback they suffered in Saskatoon to the Saskatchewan Rush a night earlier.
“That’s the best thing that can happen when you lose the night before,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky. “You get a chance to come back; you don’t have a whole week to stew on it. We had a good flight back, had a good lunch and the rest is history when it comes to TK night.”
Jeff Shattler scored twice and set up five others, Holden Cattoni had a pair of goals, while Dan MacRae, Tyler Digby and Tyson Bell also scored.
Goalie Frank Scigliano made 42 saves to improve his record to 5-5 this season.
Kyle Buchanan led the way for the Black Wolves (6-7) with five goals and two assists, while Shawn Evans had a hat trick and four helpers. Kevin Buchanan had a goal and four assists, while Seth Oakes, Zac Reid, Chad Culp and Kevin Crowley also scored.
Evan Kirk started in net for New England and stopped 29 of 41 shots he faced before being replaced late in the third quarter by Doug Jamieson, who finished with 10 saves.
The Black Wolves jumped out to a 2-1 lead before the Riggers answered back with three straight goals by Dickson, MacRae and Shattler.
Buchanan scored a power-play goal with 1:23 to play in the opening quarter to pull the Wolves back within a goal.
Dickson fired a perfectly-placed submarine shot past Kirk 27 seconds into the second quarter before the New Englanders responded with three straight goals to take a 6-5 lead.
Digby and Dickson then scored goals 24 seconds apart late in the first half before Dobbie and Berg found the back of the net early in the third quarter to put Calgary up 9-6.
Buchanan then scored during a New England man advantage to complete his hat trick before Reid notched a short-handed goal to pull the Wolves within two goals.
Dobbie answered right back with a power-play marker for the Riggers before Cattoni and Berg scored goals 77 seconds apart to put the ’Necks up 12-8.
The Riggers scored five of the first six goals in the fourth quarter, including a pair of power-play markers by Berg, and then withstood a late charge by the Wolves to end their three-game losing streak.
“He can play like that every game,” said Dickson of Berg. “He’s a phenomenal athlete. When he puts his head down and he wants to get to the net, there’s not anybody in this league that can stop him. That’s something we need out of him every week.”
Next up, the ’Necks will travel to Rochester to face the Knighthawks on Saturday, April 1.