Scott Ranger arrived under the cover of darkness and landed on the Calgary Roughnecks roster in time for the home opener.
When the Roughnecks were preparing for the season, it was reported that Ranger would likely miss most of the season recovering from off-season injuries.
It wasn’t some elaborate strategy put forth by management – Ranger himself planned on being out until likely around the trade deadline.
But the stars aligned, and Ranger made his surprising return to the active roster on Friday afternoon and debuted on Friday night.
“The summer injury healed up at the right time, and the guys were a little banged up, so they gave me a shout and here I am,” said Ranger, a long-time member of the Riggers and owner of a dangerous right-handed shot.
“I was pretty rusty out there, but it is what it is, and it will all get better out there.”
“We’ve been going back and forth, back and forth,” said head coach Curt Malawsky. “It’s a testament to Mike Board to do a little bit of capology to get him back. We got phone calls from numerous guys who were welcoming him back with open arms. We went out and asked him to come, and fortunate he was able to be back.”
On Wednesday night, Ranger received a call from management and was asked to return. The Riggers had gone through some injury troubles and needed help.
24 hours later, he was at practice. 24 hours after that, he was lining up on the ‘Dome turf.
He put his cardio at about 50 or 60 per cent of where it should be, and while he was held to a single assist on the scoresheet, he was happy to back.
“If I keep working at it, it’s not that hard to get back.”
It was a night of firsts out there for the Roughnecks. First off, Garrett MacIntosh scored his first NLL point, finishing the night with three points. Then it was Karsen Leung sniping his first career NLL goal, finishing off a breakaway. It eventually held on for the game-winner.
Being the goaltender for any NLL team can be tough. Fans see the high-scoring games and their first instinct is to blame the goalie. But Roughnecks ‘tender Mike Poulin showed again why he among the elite goalies in the league. The Riggers held a slim two-goal lead at the half, and Poulin followed it up with 17 minutes of shutout goaltending. That was the difference on Friday.
1. Dane Dobbie – Finished the night with four goals and a pair of assists, including the only two markers of the third quarter.
2. Jeff Shattler – Second straight game with four goals has the former NLL MVP tied for second in league scoring.
3. Garrett MacIntosh – Finishes his first game at the ‘Dome with three assists while playing solid defence.
“One of my sayings is ‘honest efforts gets honest results’ and tonight I think you saw a lot of honest efforts.” – Head coach Curt Malawsky