News and notes from the Roughnecks 13-11 win over the Stealth.
It’s a situation that could only happen in the National Lacrosse League.
Washington Stealth netminder Tyler Richards got called for a five-minute high-sticking major on Dane Dobbie late in the fourth quarter, and thanks the rulebook, he had to serve the major penalty.
The Calgary Roughnecks were down 10-8 at the time but they found blood in the water with backup goalie Matt Roik coming in.
“You want to pepper the guy,” said “Superman” Curtis Dickson, who scored one of his four goals with Richards in the box. “He’s cold and coming off the bench. He hasn’t seen any rubber and has been sitting their still.
“It was an opportunity and we had to take advantage of it.”
Before Richards stepped back on the floor, the Roughnecks had whipped four balls passed Roik, and it was enough for the Calgary win.
“Our powerplay has been excellent all year long,” said assistant coach Bob McMahon. “It’s just another opportunity to prove why they are leading the league at 65 or 66 per cent.
“Good for them that they got the three to give us the lead and it went from there.”
The similar thing happened the last time between the two teams.
Richards was the recipient of a five-minute major for high-sticking Dickson back on February 23rd, and the Roughnecks sniped five goals on backup goalie Nick Patterson before Richards could come back on the floor.
It’s a situation that’s only created in the NLL, and the Roughnecks seem to take advantage of it.
The way things are shaping up right now, the West Division standings won’t be decided until the final weekend of the year. Calgary and Edmonton are now tied at 8-5 for first in the division, with Calgary getting the edge due to a 2-1 record against the Rush. Washington is right behind them at 7-6. All three have a chance at winning the division.
Shawn Evans is an assist machine on the floor. Of his six assists in the game, five of them were the first assists on the goal, and four of them came in the final frame. He now has 89 points on the year, which is second in the NLL behind Toronto Rock forward Garrett Billings. Billings has 92 points, but has also played one more game. The scoring race will also likely be decided on the final weekend.
Quite simply, the Roughnecks seem to be built for the final quarter. More than half of their goals (seven) came from the last 15 minutes of the game, and they’ve now scored 56 goals this year in the final quarter. That’s 11 more than their closest competition, the Toronto Rock.
1. Mike Poulin ~ That’s now back-to-back weeks where Poulin has dominated in the second half to give the Roughnecks a chance to comeback. He allowed six goals in the final 30 minutes, and is second in the circuit with 469 saves.
2. Dane Dobbie ~ It’s not so often how many goals you score, but also when you score. His hat trick all came in the fourth quarter as the Roughnecks mounted their comeback.
3. Shawn Evans ~ The man is a magician with the lacrosse stick, and his seven points led both teams.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
133% ~ On the basis of Richards major penalty, the Roughnecks actually finished the game with a powerplay percentage greater than 100 per cent. They scored four goals on three opportunities, and were great on the PK, killing off four out of six chances.
“We control our own destiny. We get Washington, Rochester – they are playing very well now – and then Edmonton after that to end the year. Toronto lost again tonight so the top of the league is very, very close as well. We kind of set three goals: the first one is to get into the playoffs, the second one is that you want to host a playoff game and the final is that you want to host a championship game. We’ve accomplished the first,” said Bob McMahon.