By: Laurence Heinen – 22.03.24

Tanner Cook emerged as the hero in overtime as the Roughnecks earned a thrilling 10-9 win over the Albany FireWolves on Friday night to keep their NLL playoff hopes alive.

Cook fired a long-range sidearm shot through traffic that beat Albany goalie Doug Jamieson high to the short side at 3:36 of OT in front of 9,656 ecstatic fans on hand at the Scotiabank Saddledome for the Marvel Legends of Lax Super Hero Party celebrating girls in the game.

With the win, the Roughnecks improved to 6-8, while the FireWolves are at 10-5.

Tyler Pace drew an assist on the game winner for his sixth point of the night. Pace also had another helper to go with two goals in the second quarter and two more in the third.

Goalie Christian Del Bianco finished the game with 46 saves, including a game-saving stop in overtime to kick out a close-in shot by John Piatelli.

Captain Jesse King was his usual steady self with two goals and three assists, while Haiden Dickson, Shane Simpson and Eli Salama also scored.

The Roughnecks jumped out to a quick start thanks to goals by Simpson and King.

Simpson started things off at 2:51 of the first quarter when he scored on a breakaway after being set up by a nice long-range pass from Del Bianco.

Just 32 seconds later, King wired a sidearm shot past Jamieson to give the homeside a 2-0 lead.

The visitors then reeled off four goals in a row to take a 4-2 advantage through 15 minutes of play.

The Riggers responded with three straight goals in the second quarter to vault back into a 5-4 lead. After King bounced a shot past Jamieson, Pace scored two goals in a span of 85 seconds to put the ’Necks up by a goal.

The homeside kept the momentum going in the third quarter as the Riggers outscored the FireWolves 4-2.

Dickson got things started with his 20th goal of the season before Pace completed his hat trick and added another one for good measure. Salama then scored a breakaway goal with 62 seconds left in the third to put the ’Necks up 9-6.

The FireWolves then fought back with three straight goals of their own in the fourth quarter to force the extra session.


“Obviously a huge win for Cookie to get that (goal) there for us. I thought we played a pretty solid game, 60 minutes. A couple slip-ups there in the fourth, but just to stick with it when they were on their three-goal run to send it to OT was just a great job by all our guys.”

Re Cook’s OT goal – “I saw a laser, sidearm, short-side (shot) high, which is tough. It’s one of the toughest shots to hit, so for him to hit that shot on Dougie, good on Cookie. That was a tough shot to hit. I think we had a set play there, (assistant coach) Troy (Cordingley) getting him a look just for an outside shot around the screen. That was one of our things coming in, we want to get more shots on the net. We’re leaving too many on the table. I thought we did a way better job of that tonight, all the offensive guys, and our transition, we didn’t leave too many chances on the table. We executed it and got good shots.”


The Roughnecks will enjoy a bye week before wrapping up their three-game homestand on Friday, April 5 (7 p.m.) when they host the Saskatchewan Rush on WestJet Field at the Scotiabank Saddledome.


Tyler Pace: 4g, 2a

Jesse King: 2g, 3a

Haiden Dickson 1g, 2a

Tanner Cook: 1g, 1a

Shane Simpson 1g, 1a

Eli Salama 1g

Logan Schuss 2a

Zach Currier 1a, 13 loose balls

Dan Taylor 1a

Christian Del Bianco: 46 saves, 1a


“Kinger set a beautiful pick for me there. I had a lane and fired it at the net, and it went in. Before I went out there actually they were calling that I was going to score. Coach rubbed my stick and put a little magic in it for me. Maybe it worked out.” – Tanner Cook

“I’d like to think I’ve got that in my bag. It was a little bit out of my range, but I want to have fun and hang with the guys after the match. So we gotta win in order to have fun. That’s our slogan. I feel like a super hero every night in the Dome.” – Cook

“We’re playing desperate lacrosse and must-win, so it’s nice to see guys going kind of that 130 per cent out there. We’re not idiots. We know we’ve dug ourselves a hole here, and we’ve got to go on a heater. We’ve done it before. The (2019) year when we won the championship, we went on a five-game heater. That’s what we need to recreate, and it starts with one game at a time.” – Christian Del Bianco

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