News, notes and analysis from the Roughnecks 12-11 setback at the hands of the Washington Stealth.
As Mike Poulin put it, “fun Mike is back.”
After a string of games earlier this season where the Calgary Roughnecks allowed 15 or more goals, Poulin got his groove back – he’s allowed 12 or less in three straight games.
On Saturday night, a game where the Roughnecks fell 12-11 to the Washington Stealth, Poulin played with confidence, stepping out and challenging the ball with only a few goals scored on five-on-five.
“I’m thrilled with the way we are coming together,” Poulin said. “We took a step back tonight but that’s going to lead to two steps forward next week. I’m just going to do everything that I can to be ready.
“I feel like I’ve found what it is that I lost and we will be ready moving forward.”
Captain Andrew McBride said the team's confidence never faultered in the netminder.
“We knew he was going to step up,” McBride said. “He’s the goalie of the year last year for a reason and he’ll be there when we need him. He had some really clutch saves and it’s our job as a team to respond and really build off our goalie.
“Definitely no fault in Poulie’s game tonight.”
The reigning NLL Goaltender of the Year is second in the league with 8 wins, and third with 507 saves.
Now this is complicated so stay with me for a second. The Roughnecks, Stealth and Edmonton Rush all have the same 8-6 record. The first tie-breakers are season series. The Roughnecks are 2-1 versus the Rush. The Rush are 2-1 over the Stealth. The Stealth are 2-1 over the Roughnecks. So that solves nothing. The second tie-breaker is why the Roughnecks are in first place in the division. They are now 7-4 in divisional play, while the Stealth are 6-5. The Rush are third with a 5-5 record. What it all means for the Roughnecks is that if they win the next two games against the Rochester Knighthawks and Rush, they will ensure themselves one of the top two spots in the West Division. If they go 1-1, then a number of different scenarios could play out. Did that make sense for everyone?
At first glance, it shows that Shawn Evans and Garrett Billings are tied as the NLL leading scorers with 92 points. But they have almost identical statlines. Both have 28 goals, 64 assists and 59 loose balls. And their teams are atop their respective divisions. It’ll make for an interesting MVP discussion come the end of the season.
It gets played up every game between the two teams -- Snider vs. Snider. Last week’s game, it was younger brother Bob who won more draws head-to-head at 13-12. Geoff came back strong this time around. He won 17 of 26 draws, and now has a 29 draw lead in the faceoffs won category.
1. Mike Poulin ~ He made a number of beautiful saves throughout the game to give the Roughnecks a chance to win.
2. Curtis Dickson ~ His hat trick on Saturday not only gives him 100 tallies on his career, but he’s also tied for the league lead with 38 goals on the season.
3. Dane Dobbie ~ His two goals and three assists led the Roughnecks.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
46 ~ It took Curtis Dickson 46 games to reach 100 goals in his career. He became the second fastest player in a Roughnecks uniform to hit the century mark, four games behind Riggers great Tracey Kelusky. An interesting side note – it took 48 games for Lewis Ratcliff, Kaleb Toth and Dane Dobbie all to hit 100 goals.
GOAL OF THE NIGHT
From the ground, Dane Dobbie swung at the loose ball and hit it directly to Jeff Shattler, who went up and over Stealth netminder Tyler Richards for the tying goal early in the forth quarter.
SAVE OF THE NIGHT
Brent Bucktooth tried dancing out Poulin on the doorstep, but the goalie wouldn’t have anything of it. He stayed with the ball and made an unreal save to keep the Roughnecks up by one.
The Roughnecks scratches were Daryl Veltman, Jackson Decker and Aaron Pascas. Veltman remains day-to-day with a lower body injury.