Calgary clinches playoff berth with 13-9 road win over Philadelphia. Photo by Todd Bauders.
PHILADELPHIA, PA - Dane Dobbie picked a great time to find a hot hand.
Dobbie scored three times in the fourth quarter to lead the Calgary Roughnecks (9-5) to a 13-9 road win over the Philadelphia Wings (5-10) on Friday in front of 6,659 fans at the Wells Fargo Center.
“It’s a long game, that’s what I keep telling myself,” said Dobbie, who finished the game with four goals to increase his league-leading total in that department to 41. “If I get off to slow start, I’ve just got to stick with it and just keep working hard and keep playing the systems that our coaching staff puts into play. We know it’s going to pay off eventually. That’s what our mindset is up front and it’s rolling well right now.”
Dobbie also had an assist for a five-point outing for the Riggers, who officially clinched a National Lacrosse League playoff berth.
“We talked about making sure that we won our way into the playoffs and not worrying about having other teams help us out,” said assistant coach Bruce Codd. “We talked about getting that first step into the playoffs and now we refocus and try and get the home playoff date.”
Dobbie scored his third goal of the game at 5:54 of the final frame with Calgary killing a holding penalty to Geoff Snider. That goal put the ’Necks up 10-8 and it stood up as Dobbie’s fourth game winner of the season.
“Obviously that takes the wind out of the other team’s sails a little bit when you give up a short-handed goal,” said Codd, who commended Dobbie for his propensity of scoring big goals. “He seems to be the guy that always gets them in the big moments. We’re certainly aware of what he brings to the table.”
Shawn Evans also had a strong game for the ’Necks with a hat trick and four helpers, while Jeff Shattler scored twice and set up three others. Rookie Karsen Leung scored the game’s first goal and added three assists, while Curtis Dickson (1g, 2a), Daryl Veltman (1g, 1a) and Geoff Snider (1g) also scored.
Goalie Mike Poulin played well in the Calgary net as he made 45 saves to improve his record to 9-4 this season, while adding three assists for good measure.
Pat Saunders fired four-straight goals and added two assists to pace Philadelphia’s attack, while former Roughneck Tracey Kelusky finished with a goal and three helpers. Jordan Hall, Brodie Merrill, John Ranagan and CJ Costabile also scored for the Wings, while netminder Evan Kirk made 34 saves in a losing cause.
The Riggers opened up the scoring exactly two minutes into the first quarter when Leung took a pass from Scott Ranger and drove hard to the net before firing a shot past Kirk while falling to the floor.
After more than 10 minutes of scoreless play, Shattler put Calgary up 2-0 at 12:46 of the opening frame when he perfectly timed a quick-stick shot to redirect a pass from Matthew Dinsdale. Only 59 seconds later, Evans scored on a short-handed breakaway to put the ’Necks up by three before the Wings responded with a power-play goal with 25 seconds remaining in the first.
Ranagan scored at 2:04 of the second before Merrill added another for Philadelphia 40 seconds later to knot up the score at 3-3. Just 31 seconds after Merrill’s goal, Dobbie converted a feed from Leung to put the Riggers back up by a goal. Evans extended Calgary’s lead to 5-3 when he counted his second of the game at 11:10 of the second.
After scoring late in the second to pull Philadelphia back within a goal, Saunders reeled off three more goals in a span of 2:04 early in the third quarter to give the Wings a 7-5 lead.
Dickson finally ended Saunders’s scoring outburst with a goal for the ’Necks at 10:22 before Evans tied the game at 7-7 with 12.8 seconds left in the third. Costabile answered right back for Philadelphia by scoring with just 2.4 seconds remaining on the clock to put the Wings up 8-7 heading into the fourth.
The Riggers took control of the final frame by outscoring the Wings 6-1. After Veltman converted a feed from Evans at 4:11 of the fourth, Dobbie scored back-to-back goals 45 seconds apart. After Dobbie’s game winner, Shattler followed that up with another short-handed goal – Calgary’s third of the game – during the same penalty to Snider.
“That kind of made up for the shortage of power-play goals tonight,” said Dobbie, pointing to the fact that Calgary finished 1-for-5 on the man advantage.
After Kelusky ended Calgary’s four-goal run by scoring at 10:08 of the fourth, Dobbie notched his fourth of the game during a Calgary power play. Snider then rounded out the scoring with an empty netter.
The Roughnecks won’t have much time to enjoy Friday’s win, playing their second-straight road game on Saturday night against the Buffalo Bandits.
“Buffalo’s sitting waiting for us,” said Dobbie. “They’re going to be ready to go. They’ve lost three straight, so it’s going to be a tough one (Saturday) night.”
“It’s going to be a tough turnaround,” added Codd. “We haven’t had too many back-to-backs this year. We’ll just have to get ready, come out and play our game and take the crowd out of it hopefully."
In the 13-year history of the Roughnecks, it will only be Calgary’s second visit to Buffalo to play the Bandits. Only captain Andrew McBride remains from the team that lost to Buffalo 23-17 on Jan. 25, 2003.