By: Laurence Heinen – 06.04.24

Tyler Pace surpassed the 300-point plateau in his NLL career during a losing cause for the Roughnecks in Saskatoon on Saturday night.

Pace reached the milestone when he drew an assist on a goal by Calgary captain Jesse King in the second quarter. The 29-year-old forward, who celebrated his birthday on Friday, finished the game with a goal and three assists as well as 15 shots on goal.

Despite Pace’s efforts, the Roughnecks dropped a 12-9 decision to the Saskatchewan Rush at SaskTel Centre just 24 hours after they beat their NLL rivals 12-10 back in Calgary at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Due to the result, the Roughnecks, Rush and Vancouver Warriors are all tied for ninth place – just outside of a playoff berth – in the league with identical 7-9 records.

King led the ’Necks with two goals and two assists, while goalie Christian Del Bianco made 31 saves one night after stopping 52 shots fired his way by the Rush.

Haiden Dickson had two goals and two assists, while Tanner Cook, Thomas Hoggarth, Ethan Ticehurst and Shane Simpson also scored.

With his team down 2-0 in the first quarter, Hoggarth fired a low shot from the slot past Saskatchewan goalie Frank Scigliano at 9:51 on a delayed penalty call to the Rush.

After the Rush regained a two-goal lead, Dickson bounced a shot in behind Scigliano with 16.7 seconds left on the clock in the opening frame.

The home team answered right back by scoring with just 2.9 seconds remaining before adding two quick goals in the first minute of the second quarter.

Cook ended Saskatchewan’s scoring run at 3:32 of the second stanza when he snapped a low shot through Scigliano’s legs.

Just 1:49 later, King fired a sidearm shot from long range past a stunned Scigliano to pull the visitors within two goals once again.

The Rush responded with two goals in a span of 15 seconds before Ticehurst took a pass from Zach Currier in transition before leaping into the air and snapping a shot into the Saskatchewan net.

With just 50 seconds remaining in the first half, Pace wired a shot off the crossbar. The Riggers had another chance to score before the buzzer, but weren’t able to cut into Saskatchewan’s 9-5 advantage.

Both teams scored twice in the third quarter with Pace and King finding the back of the net for the ’Necks.

Simpson took a pass from Del Bianco and scored on a breakaway at 4:09 of the final frame to pull the Riggers within three.

The Rush then answered back with their fourth power-play goal of the game less than two minutes later before Dickson notched his second of the game during a man advantage for Calgary with 5:30 remaining in the contest.

A pair of untimely penalties in the waning minutes prevented the Riggers from narrowing the three-goal gap.


“The (Rush) are hungry, they’re fighting for their lives, and they came out and got a good start. We started playing better after that but we dug ourselves a little too deep. We got to be better to start the game and play a better 60 minutes like we did in Calgary.”

Re getting set for Buffalo and hitting the reset button: “I think it’s going to be an easy game to get up for, playing in that barn against the defending champs. I think us getting ready to play that game won’t be an issue. We just have to turn the page on this and make sure we’re really good in Buffalo because we know how good they are.”


“We talked about it in the room, we have to come out ready to go and credit to them, they showed up at the start of the game and pushed the transition, shot very well in the first half and when things fall that way your confidence grows and when it’s falling against you, your confidence goes the other way.” – Jesse King


The Riggers will wrap up their two-game road trip next Saturday, April 13 (7:30 p.m.) when they travel to Buffalo to face the Bandits (9-7).


Jesse King: 2g, 4a

Haiden Dickson 2g, 2a

Tyler Pace: 1g, 3a (including the 300th point of his NLL career)

Tanner Cook: 1g

Thomas Hoggarth 1g

Ethan Ticehurst 1g

Shane Simpson 1g

Eli Salama 2a

Zach Currier 1a, 10 loose balls

Logan Schuss 1a

Christian Del Bianco: 31 saves, 1a

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