CALGARY — The Calgary Roughnecks were stymied by the No. 1 defence in the National Lacrosse League on Saturday afternoon.
Although Curtis Dickson had five goals for the home team, the Riggers fell 11-7 to the Rock at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Roughnecks (3-3) scored just once in each of the first two quarters before rallying for two goals in the third and three more in the fourth.
“We had a terrible start,” admitted forward Jeff Shattler, who attributed much of Calgary’s lack of scoring success to a 40-save performance by Toronto goalie Nick Rose. “We’ve said this before, we need to have a good start and these guys, the three games that they had won, coach (Curt Malawsky) was saying that they had five-goal leads. Our defence played well. It wasn’t for lack of chances, we just couldn’t score on him.”
Calgary goalie Frank Scigliano also commended his fellow netminder for backstopping the Rock (4-1) to victory.
“We ran into a hot goalie tonight in my opinion,” said Scigliano. “He’s playing well and he’s just standing in front of it. I think that’s what it comes down to.”
Wesley Berg and Dane Dobbie had a goal and an assist each for the Riggers, while Shattler chipped in with five assists.
“It’s tough in this league when you get down,” said Malawsky. “We got battling from behind. We went even for the second half, but when you’re down those many goals, it’s tough to battle back.”
Scigliano started in net for Calgary, but was pulled early in the fourth quarter after allowing 10 goals on 38 shots. Christian Del Bianco went on to stop all eight shots he faced in a relief appearance.
“It’s his decision,” said Scigliano of Malawsky’s move to make the change in net. “He’s trying to switch it up and I respect it, but as a competitor and the person I am, every time you leave that net, you didn’t do your job.”
Rookie sensation Tom Schreiber led the Rock with a hat trick and three helpers, while Kieran McArdle and Brett Hickey netted a pair of goals each.
Stephan Leblanc had a goal and three helpers for the Rock, while Turner Evans, Latrell Harris and Billy Hostrawser also scored.
The Roughnecks will wrap up their four-game homestand next Saturday (7 p.m.) when they host the Vancouver Stealth at the Saddledome.
“You’ve obviously got to forget this one,” said Scigliano. “We’ve got Vancouver coming in here next week. That’s a big divisional game for us. We’ve got to just prepare and I think starting on time is going to be key for us.”
After Schreiber opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 3:34 of the first quarter, the Rock had a great chance to build on that lead when Garrett McIntosh was assessed a five-minute major for high sticking.
Not only did the Riggers kill off the penalty, but they drew even less than a minute after McIntosh got out of the box thanks to a laser beam of a shot by Dickson past Rose.
Schreiber and McArdle scored early in the second quarter for the Rock before Dickson dunked a shot over Rose’s left shoulder.
Schreiber then set up a power-play goal by Hickey before completing his hat trick at 8:54 of the second. McArdle added one more for Toronto before the end of the half to put the Rock up 6-2.
The Rock extended their lead to 8-2 as Harris and Evans netted goals early in the third quarter before Dobbie scored to end Toronto’s five-goal outburst.
After Hickey notched his second of the game, Berg answered right back for Calgary with 1:21 to play in the third.
Leblanc scored 22 second into the final frame to put the Rock up 10-4 before Dickson erupted for three goals in a span of 3:19 to pull the ’Necks within striking distance.
Rose then stood his ground to stop quality scoring chances by Berg and Shattler before Hostrawser deposited the ball into an empty net – despite a valiant effort to Dickson to make the save – to round out the scoring.