CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Roughnecks used a balanced scoring attack to down the Colorado Mammoth 15-10 on Saturday night and advance to the second round of the National League playoffs.
Jeff Shattler (3g, 4a), Shawn Evans (3g, 2a) and Scott Ranger (3g, 1a) all recorded hat tricks to pace Calgary’s scoring attack.
“It just shows the competitive edge that we have on our team,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky. “We had to play offence by committee and we played defence by committee. That’s one thing about this team, we do everything together and when we do that we’re pretty tough to beat.”
The Roughnecks will now host the Washington Stealth, which edged the Edmonton Rush 12-11 at home earlier in the evening, next Saturday afternoon (4:30 p.m.) in the West Division Final at the Scotiabank Saddleome.
“We’ve had a lot of tough battles with those guys,” said Calgary captain Andrew McBride. “They’ve got a prolific offence and they’re going to be ready to go. They’ve got a big, pounding, bruising defence and (goalie) Tyler Richards can get hot. He’s had some good games in the ’Dome. We’re going to watch film like we did (for) this game. Everybody’s got to rise to the occasion to play their role.”
Daryl Veltman also had a strong game for the ’Necks with a goal and five assists, while Joe Resetarits (1g, 1a), Curtis Dickson (1g, 1a), Peter McFetridge (1g, 1a), Travis Cornwall (1g, 1a) and Nolan Heavenor (1g) also scored. Dane Dobbie set up four goals, while Geoff Snider and captain Andrew McBride chipped in with two assists each.
Goalie Mike Poulin had another stellar game in between the pipes for the Riggers as he made 32 saves, while back-up netminder Frankie Scigliano stopped two of four shots he faced late in the game.
Adam Jones paced the Mammoth attack with four goals and an assist, while Casey Powell a hat trick and three helpers. Calgary’s defence held John Grant Jr., Colorado’s leading scorer in the regular season, to two goals and three assists.
Goalies Tye Belanger (27 saves) and Dan Lewis (14 saves) split time in net for Colorado.
Jones opened the scoring for Colorado at 2:01 of the first quarter before Grant put the Mammoth up 2-0 exactly two minutes later.
“It’s not the start we wanted again, but we fought back like we’ve done all year and that’s huge,” McBride said.
Ranger, Shattler and Evans then reeled off three straight goals for the Riggers before Pollock replied for the Mammoth.
Evans notched his second of the contest with just 16.9 seconds left in the opening frame to put Calgary up 4-3.
Colorado then rallied to build up leads of 6-5 and 7-6 in the second quarter before Resetarits counted his first-ever NLL playoff goal with 39.7 seconds left in the first half.
“At half time we were 7-7,” McBride said. “We stayed calm. The vibe in the room was good. We knew we just had to plug away. I thought you saw our experience from what we learned last year (after first round playoff loss to Edmonton) really came into play this game.”
The Mammoth had a great opportunity early in the third to jump out in front once again when Dickson was assessed a five-minute major for high-sticking.
Instead, the Riggers killed off the disadvantage, while Ranger and Shattler tallied shorthanded goals.
“Our short man was awesome,” Ranger said. “Poulin made some big saves and we were able to get a couple short handers so that was big for us.”
Shortly after his release from the sin bin, Dickson set up a goal by Veltman to put Calgary up 10-7.
Cornwall scored late in the second before Ranger completed his hat trick at the 21-second mark of the final frame.
Heavenor then scored to put Calgary up 13-7 before Evans and Shattler completed their hat tricks in front of an elated crowd of 8,762 fans at the ’Dome.
“When the crowd gets rocking here, you can see the other team’s body language kind of sag down and we really need that for momentum,” McBride said. “Hopefully next week we’re going to get another great crowd and we can use that to get us going again.”