The Calgary Roughnecks (0-5) will have to keep looking for its first win of the season after a heartbreaking 15-14 home loss in overtime at the hands of the Buffalo Bandits (4-3) in front of 10,312 screaming fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Most of the points for the Bandits came off the sticks of Dhane Smith who led the way with a career-high 10 points (5+5) along with Ryan Benesch (2+6) and Chad Culp (3+3). The top players in the game for the Roughnecks were Shawn Evans (2+6), Curtis Dickson (2+6), Karsen Leung (2+3) and Dane Dobbie (2+3).
The game didn’t start the way the ‘Necks intended after getting a penalty only 11 seconds into the game. The Bandits capitalized on the opportunity 20 seconds later to make it a quick 1-0 lead. Both teams started playing more defensively throughout the first until the final four minutes where both teams exploded for three goals apiece.
Karsen Leung got it started for Calgary with a beautiful dive across the crease attempt beating Bandits netminder Anthony Cosmo. Leung and Daryl Veltman would each tally another marker before the end of the frame. The Bandits finished off the first quarter with three straight goals from Chad Culp, Kevin Brownell and Dhane Smith to lead 6-4 over the ‘Necks after one. Shots on net were in favor of the Riggers, 16-15.
It was all defense for the first 10 minutes of the second quarter with no goals for either team. It wasn’t until the 4:16 mark where Curtis ‘Superman’ Dickson fought his way to the front of the net and found twine making it a one goal game. Buffalo responded with two straight goals 1:19 apart from Dhane Smith with his third and fourth goals of the game. Jeff Shattler finished out the quarter with a blast off the half-boards beating Anthony Cosmo to make it 8-6 in favor of Buffalo. Shots on goal at the half were in favor of the Roughnecks, 27-26.
Buffalo found themselves in penalty trouble in the third after Kevin Brownell and Mark Steenhuis took back-to-back five-minute majors for high-sticking. Calgary was able to muster up two goals on the power-play from Shawn Evans and Curtis Dickson. Not to be outdone, Dhane Smith got his fifth of the game short-handed with a nice goal in tight, beating Frankie Scigliano. Dane Dobbie finished off the scoring getting his first of the game with only one minute remaining to put the ‘Necks up 10-9 after three quarters. Shots on net were also in favor of Calgary 42-36.
It didn’t take Buffalo long to tie the game in the fourth as Joe Resetarits made a nice move into the slot beating Scigliano low stick side 24-second into the frame. That was just one of eight goals in the fourth quarter. Ryan Benesch and Chad Culp each had two goals for Buffalo while the Riggers managed to score two goals off the sticks of Daryl Veltman and Jeff Shattler in the last 1:35 to tie the game and send this game to sudden-death overtime.
The Roughnecks and Bandits went toe-to-toe in a heated OT with both sides seeing great opportunities to put the game away. Almost five minutes had elapsed before Jerome Thompson played the hero for the Bandits by beating Scigliano with a hard shot from the point with 10:42 left for the win.
Calgary hadn’t lost five games in a row since the 2002 season. Buffalo got back over .500 in the standings and the two teams’ all-time series, which the Bandits now lead 5-4.
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Dhane Smith
2) Shawn Evans
3) Anthony Cosmo