CALGARY, AB – The Calgary Roughnecks had their best first-quarter performance of the season and cruised to a 20-9 win over the New England Black Hawks on Friday.
After being held off the scoresheet six nights earlier during a 13-7 setback at home to the Rochester Knighthawks, Curtis Dickson bounced back in a big way with in front of a boisterous crowd of 9,478 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“You never feel good going zero and zero on the scoresheet, so it’s my job out there to help our offence,” said Dickson after scoring four goals and adding seven assists. “Our offence as a whole tonight was unbelievable. We were moving the ball around and scoring on all our chances. Especially after last weekend, it wasn’t the showing that we wanted. We came out and put 20 on the board. It’s always nice to get a win like that.”
Shawn Evans matched Dickson’s 11-point output as he finished with five goals and six helpers to help the Roughnecks improve their record to 3-8.
“I think the offence knew we had to come and play a good game and work together,” said Evans, who commended goalie Frankie Scigliano for his 46-save performance and the defence for helping to contain New England’s forwards throughout the game. “They were giving us a chance to play our game and we went out there and executed.”
Dane Dobbie also had a great game for the Riggers as he registered a sock trick (six goals) to go with two assists.
“It’s nice to get back on track,” Dobbie said. “Our backs are against the wall right now. We’ve got to climb up in this Western Division and make a run for it to get ourselves in the playoffs. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Jeff Shattler scored three times and added two helpers, newly-signed forward Sean Pollock had two goals, while Daryl Veltman finished with six assists
Pat Saunders had a hat trick and an assist for the Black Wolves (3-6), while Kevin Buchanan and Kyle Buchanan had two goals each. Joel White and Jamie Lincoln also scored, while New England goalies Evan Kirk and Tye Belanger combined to make 37 saves in a losing cause.
The Riggers took control of the game early as they built up a commanding 7-3 lead after one quarter of play. Their previous best output in the first quarter this season was on Jan. 3 when they built up a 5-2 lead over the Vancouver Stealth before eventually suffering an 18-14 road loss.
“It’s been slow starts all year,” noted Dickson. “That’s kind of how we got ourselves into holes and that’s kind of how we’ve been losing games. It’s always nice to get up early and be able to ride that momentum.”
Dickson opened the scoring before the game was even two minutes old before assisting on a goal by Dobbie at 5:28 of the first quarter to give the Riggers an early 2-0 lead.
White scored eight seconds later for the Black Wolves, before Dickson and Dobbie responded with a pair of quick goals to put Calgary up 4-1.
After Saunders scored to pull the Wolves within a pair, Evans, Shattler and Pollock reeled off three straight goals to give the Riggers a 7-3 advantage. For Pollock, it was his first goal in a Calgary uniform since being signed by the Roughnecks earlier in the week.
Kevin Buchanan notched a late goal in the first quarter for the Wolves and then scored at 2:26 of the second after Dickson completed his hat trick 56 seconds earlier.
Halfway through the second, Evans counted a shorthanded marker before Saunders replied with a goal for New England to round out the first-half scoring.
“We said in the coach’s room that it would be really nice to be at 9-4 at the half and have a little bit of breathing room and we were up 9-5,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky. “Talking about the start of the second half, I thought we came out real quick and we won that third quarter and we carried the momentum from there.”
Dobbie opened up the third quarter with an even-strength marker followed by a power-play goal before Shattler and Evans scored to extend Calgary’s lead to 13-5.
Lincoln then scored late in the third before Kyle Buchanan counted his first of two goals just 34 seconds into the fourth quarter to pull the Wolves within six goals, but that’s as close as they would get.
The ’Necks continued to pour on the pressure and outscored the Wolves 7-3 in the final frame to send the fans home happy.
Next up, the Riggers will complete their three-game homestand when they host the Toronto Rock on Saturday, March 28.