Six power-play goals wasn’t enough to help the Roughnecks beat the Saskatchewan Rush on Friday night.
Dane Dobbie scored four goals on the man advantage for the Roughnecks (4-9), who suffered a 13-10 setback to the Rush (8-3) at the Sasktel Centre in Saskatoon.
“We played hard,” said Dobbie, who also had a pair of assists for a six-point night. “I thought our desperation lacrosse came in in the second half. We need to put a 60-minute game of desperation lacrosse here tomorrow for a must-win.”
Before facing off against the New England Black Wolves at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday (7 p.m.), the Roughnecks will honour former captain Tracey Kelusky in a special ceremony to induct him into the ‘Forever A Roughneck’ program.
“Hopefully we come out with the win, but at the same time it’s a great night for Tracey and we’ve got to play like Tracey did,” said Dobbie. “If every person on our team plays like Tracey Kelusky did back in the day then we will be successful.”
Dobbie started his career in 2008 with the Roughnecks when Kelusky was still Calgary’s captain and the pair helped Calgary win the 2009 Champion’s Cup.
“When I first came into the league, Tracey was the guy that I sat next to in the locker room,” said Dobbie. “He showed me the ways in the NLL. It was a privilege to play with him. The guy was all heart. He’s a complete warrior and it’s going to be awesome to watch his banner go up in the rafters tomorrow.”
Assistant coach Rob Williams also played on the Roughnecks with Kelusky in 2005 and 2006.
“I think he’ll bring the guys some energy,” said Williams. “He was a warrior. He definitely battled every game. He’s a highly skilled guy with a huge heart that played lacrosse the way it’s supposed to be played – tough as nails.”
Wesley Berg also had a pair of power-play goals to go with four assists for the Riggers on Friday. Riley Loewen and Tyler Digby chipped in with two goals each, while Curtis Dickson finished with five helpers.
Frank Scigliano made 21 saves in the Calgary net before being relieved by Christian Del Bianco in the second quarter. Del Bianco went on to finish with 24 saves in a relief appearance.
Saskatchewan goalie Aaron Bold made 43 saves to backstop the Rush to their third win over the Riggers this season.
Mark Matthews paced the Rush attack with two goals and five assists, while Chris Corbeil, Robert Church and Dan Taylor each scored twice. Mike Messenger, Curtis Knight, Jeff Cornwall, Matthew Dinsdale and Jeremy Thompson also scored for Saskatchewan.
The Rush counted the first three goals of the game before Dobbie potted back-to-back power-play goals 55 seconds apart late in the first quarter.
After Dobbie’s second marker, Cornwall replied for the Rush eight seconds later before Saskatchewan also scored the first four goals of the second quarter.
Berg tallied Calgary’s third power-play goal with 1:10 to play in the first half before Matthews opened the scoring for the Rush at 3:19 of the third quarter.
Loewen, Berg and Digby reeled off three straight goals for the Riggers before Knight and Matthews replied right back for the Rush to give Saskatchewan a 10-6 lead.
Calgary’s potent power play then struck again – not once, but twice – as Dobbie scored a pair of goals 33 seconds apart to pull the ’Necks within a pair of goals.
“We got a lot of repossessions on the power play which helps and gets the defence scrambling a little bit,” said Dobbie. “Guys were taking good looks and we got good shots and good goals. The power play was clicking a bit tonight.”
Church scored during a Saskatchewan man advantage with 16 seconds remaining in the quarter before Loewen notched his second of the contest at 3:20 of the final frame.
“We dug ourselves a hole early, but we showed a lot of character in the second half,” said Williams. “We played like we can play and I think it was step in the right direction for sure. If we hadn’t started the way we started, we probably win that game handily.”
Calgary had a great chance to pull within one when Saskatchewan’s Adrian Sorichetti was sent to the penalty box for cross checking, but Corbeil scored a short-handed goal at 10:31 for the Rush instead.
Digby scored his second of the game at 13:29 before Taylor rounded out the scoring 32 seconds later.