A quick, analytical report on the Roughnecks 13-12 OT win over the Colorado Mammoth.
Who knows how the game would have ended if Colorado Mammoth defenceman Rory Smith didn’t take a five-minute slashing major late in the second quarter.
But one thing’s for certain, the Roughnecks don’t want to think about that.
Facing the possibility of going into the second half down 7-2, the Roughnecks were given another gift when Adam Jones got sent to the sin bin for slashing.
Shawn Evans scored his first of the night on the ensuing 5-on-3 PP to end the first half, and followed it up with back-to-back goals early on in the third to make the game a much more manageable 7-5 deficit.
“It was good that they had the five minute penalty and it’s good that we capitalized, getting two to start off the second half,” said Evans, who ended the night with three goals and 10 points. “Those are huge for us, it gave us a little motivation and knew we were back in the game.”
Calgary chipped away the deficit over the next 28 minutes, and soon left with a 12-11 overtime win over the Mammoth.
It was through the special teams where Colorado grew their lead in the first half. Four of their goals came with the man advantage, and they ended the night five for six on the powerplay.
“That’s the one thing that we said going into tonight that they do have a very good powerplay,” said assistant coach Bruce Codd. “The two games that we have played them prior, their powerplay percentages were in the 70s so we knew that they had a very good powerplay.
“We tried to do some different things and it didn’t work out early.”
However, when the Mammoth needed a powerplay marker, the Roughnecks defensive unit stepped up. Curtis Dickson got called for slashing with 10 minutes left and Colorado holding onto a one-goal lead. They couldn’t get the insurance goal, and 15 seconds after leaving the penalty box, Dickson tied it up at 10-10.
“At the end of the day, the last kill with four minutes to go was absolutely huge,” Codd said. “We got the one kill when we absolutely needed it. It wasn’t pretty but we found a way.”
Dickson followed it up with another goal 30 seconds later to give the Roughnecks their first lead since the first quarter, and later added the overtime winner. Not bad for the Superman.
It’s been said time and time again this year it’s not just about Mike Poulin’s play, but also when is he making those saves. Time and time again, when he’s making beautiful saves on one end, the offense is rewarding him with goals on the other net. In the last 35 minutes of tonight’s game when the Roughnecks were attempting their comeback, Poulin only allowed four goals.
Calgary moves to 7-5 on the season and a three-way tie with the Washington Stealth and Edmonton Rush for first place in the West Division. Rush play Sunday afternoon against the Toronto Rock with a chance to move a half game up on the competition. The Roughnecks and Stealth will face off in a home-and-home series and the stakes won’t be much higher.
Sometimes you look at the stat sheets and just say ‘wow’. Geoff Snider was an incredible 89 per cent on the faceoff tonight, having won 24 out of 27 draws. In the season, he wins his draws 15 percent more than anyone else in the NLL.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
30 - If only Shawn Evans could play against the Mammoth every game of the year, he’d be smashing scoring records. In the three games this year between the two teams, he’s managed 30 points, including the 10 tonight. He also previously set the franchise record for points in a single-game with 13 versus the Mammoth on January 25th. At 82 points on the year, he’s already broken his career-high of 79 points with four games remaining, and now has an 11-point lead over Rock forward Garrett Billings.\
GOAL OF THE GAME
It was the goal that would eventually send the game to overtime. With under two minutes left, Dickson received the flip pass from Evans, danced around defender Ilija Gajic and deked out Mammoth goalie Tye Belanger before going top corner.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Just three minutes in with the Roughnecks shorthanded, Poulin stoned Adam Jones on the rush. Jones scooped up the rebound, ran behind the net and tried to fly through the crease on the other side to get the goal. Poulin jumped over, got his big stick just high enough and made the save.
1. Curtis Dickson ~ When it comes down the Superman, all that seems to matter is the fourth quarter. That’s where he makes him impact and tonight was no different. He scored three of his four goals in the fourth quarter and overtime, including the winner.
2. Shawn Evans ~ Take a deeper look at Evans’ numbers and you can see the impact that he has. Six of his seven assists were the first assists on the goal, and he was also the first assist on the last four Roughnecks goals.
3. Mike Poulin ~ Allowing only four goals in the last 35 minutes of the game was the main reason the Roughnecks could come back. Assistant coach Bruce Codd referred to him as “was far and away our best player tonight.”
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Parker Vockeroth (@14Vock)
“@NLLRoughnecks @CurtisDickson17 today we spell clutch D-I- C-K-S-O-N #WOO #bigW”
When you can work in an Anchorman reference into a tweet, you have the best tweet of the night.