By: Laurence Heinen – 15.03.24

A furious second-half comeback effort by the Roughnecks on Friday fell just short.

Ultimately, the Roughnecks (5-8) dropped a 7-6 decision to the visiting San Diego Seals (10-4) in front of a raucous crowd of 14,143 fans in attendance at the Scotiabank Saddledome for the St. Patrick’s Day Party.

After finding the back of the net just twice in the first half, the Riggers outscored the Seals 4-1 the rest of the way. Despite their best efforts, the ’Necks weren’t able to get the equalizer past San Diego goalie Chris Origlieri.

Jesse King and Tanner Cook each scored twice for the Riggers, while goalie Christian Del Bianco finished with an amazing 54 saves to keep Calgary in the game.

After giving up the first four goals of the game, the ’Necks finally got on the board with  57.2 seconds left in the first quarter when Shane Simpson fired a shot from the slot past Origlieri.

A power-play goal by Tyler Pace at 12:36 of the second quarter seemed to lift the spirits of the Riggers, who trailed 6-2 heading into the halftime intermission.

The hometown favourites exited the dressing room with renewed enthusiasm and proceeded to score three goals in a span of 2:51 early in the third quarter.

King got things going when he bounced a long-range shot past Origlieri, who was screened on the play. After Cook fired a low shot past the San Diego netminder, King followed suit with another low laser that found the back of the net.

The visitors got one back with just 6.7 seconds remaining on the cluck in the third to take a 7-5 advantage into the final frame.

The defensive battle continued until Pace finally fired a long-range shot past Origilieri at 11:46 of the fourth to pull the homeside within a goal.

With Del Bianco on the bench for an extra attacker, the Riggers pushed hard to tie the game, but ultimately came up short of their goal.


The Roughnecks will wrap up their two-game homestand next Friday, March 22 when they host the Albany Firewolves on WestJet Field at the Scotiabank Saddledome (7 p.m.).


Jesse King: 2g

Tanner Cook: 2g

Tyler Pace: 1g, 2a

Shane Simpson 1g

Zach Currier 1a, 14 loose balls (including the 1,100th of his NLL career)

Christian Del Bianco: 54 saves


“We battled hard at the end there. I’ve just got to do a better job of having us ready to play, it’s that simple. I thought our first quarter wasn’t good enough and it wasn’t good enough in Georgia and that’s on me. I’ve just got to do a better job of making sure we’re ready to play for the 60 minutes and then once we find our game, we’re pretty solid. Just two real slow starts came back to haunt us.”

“We’ve got to get the Albany one and then the Saskatchewan double header will be big. We’ve been in this hole a few times here. We know we can crawl out of it. It’s just crawling out of it and then getting on the plus side of .500. We’re definitely not done. I’ve got confidence in our guys that we’re going to have a really good effort against Albany and then obviously we’ve got a bye week to heal up. All our focus is going to be on Albany and then we’ll worry about April after that.”


“I think if we put a full 60 in, we probably win that game. I thought offensively at the start of the game, we were kind of slow. Obviously, only having two goals in the first half isn’t ideal. That starts from the top, which is me and Pacer. We’ve got to do a better job of getting the ball to the guys who are going to put it in the net and finish our chances when we get them.” – Jesse King

“He’s our MVP for a reason. If he doesn’t play like that every other game, I would be amazed. That’s kind of what he expects out of himself and what we expect out of him now. We’re always thankful for him. He’s our backbone and he’s who we’ve got to lean on right now because he’s the guy who’s always consistent right now.” – King re: Del Bianco’s amazing game

“There’s always going to be a frustration level when you’re not winning games, especially when you’re losing by goal. I think if we can pick our effort up by about 10 per cent, then those one goal games might be a little bit different, especially coming out to start the game. I think our second halves have been really strong. Our defence, only letting in one in the second half, is pretty amazing. I think offensively we need to be better. We need to put the ball in the net more and do our jobs.” – King re: second straight one-goal loss

Back to News

Related Posts