The Calgary Roughnecks suffered a 15-11 setback to the Minnesota Swarm.
Calgary, AB. -- One week after their biggest win of the season, the Calgary Roughnecks suffered a 15-11 setback to the Minnesota Swarm.
The Riggers trounced the Colorado Mammoth 21-10 on Feb. 24 in Denver to run their winning streak to three games, but they couldn’t build on that momentum on Saturday in front of 7,638 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Ryan Benesch led the Swarm attack with four goals and three assists as Minnesota improved its record to 5-3 to draw even with the ’Necks for second place in the National Lacrosse League’s West Division.
“It’s not about skill, it’s not about talent in this league, it’s about work ethic and they outworked us plain and simple,” said Calgary coach Dave Pym following the disappointing setback. “Every guy in that room is going to reflect on their performance good and bad. There was some good stuff out there, but obviously it’s a lot more bad than good.”
After missing the past three games with an upper-body injury, Dane Dobbie returned to Calgary’s lineup and counted two goals and two assists.
“It’s tough coming back here losing at home and losing bad,” Dobbie said. “Hopefully we shake it off. Hopefully guys think about it tonight, myself included, because I was terrible tonight. Hopefully we’re better next game.”
Scott Ranger and Peter McFetridge tallied two goals and an assist each, while Shawn Evans scored once and set up four others. Darryl Veltman and Cory Conway notched a goal and two assists each, while Curtis Dickson and Geoff Snider also scored.
Mike Poulin started in net for the Riggers, but was replaced by rookie Frankie Scigliano in the second quarter. Scigliano stopped eight of 13 shots he faced before Poulin re-entered the game in the third quarter. Poulin, who stopped Minnesota forward Callum Crawford’s penalty-shot attempt late in the fourth quarter, finished the contest with 36 saves.
Despite being denied on the penalty shot, Crawford had a strong game for the Swarm with two goals and four assists. Jordan MacIntosh, Andrew Suitor and Kevin Ross chipped in with two goals each, while Richard Morgan, Jay Card and Corbyn Tao also scored for Minnesota.
Rookie netminder Tyler Carlson stopped 32-of-43 shots he faced to improve his record to 3-2.
Morgan and Card scored to give the Swarm an early 2-0 advantage before Dobbie responded for the Roughnecks.
The Swarm then scored three of the next four goals to build up a 5-2 lead before Ranger converted a feed from Evans with just 19.4 seconds left in the first quarter.
McFetridge inched the ’Necks within a goal at 1:36 of the second before Benesch responded with his second of the game for the Swarm.
After Benesch’s goal, Scigliano replaced Poulin in the Calgary net. The move seemed to spark the Riggers, who reeled off three straight goals in a span of three minutes by Conway, Dickson and Ranger to take a 7-6 lead.
After Crawford scored pull Minnesota even, Calgary defenceman Mike Carnegie took a major penalty for high-sticking. On the ensuing power play, Benesch completed his hat trick to give the Swarm an 8-7 lead heading into the halftime intermission.
Just 52 seconds into the third quarter Tao scored during a four-on-four situation before MacIntosh and Benesch notched power-play goals with Carnegie still in the box serving his major penalty. The three-goal outburst increased Minnesota’s lead to 11-7.
“The game plan was stay out of the penalty box,” Carnegie said. “It was the exact opposite of what happened out there. It was tough. It’s very uncharacteristic of me. I usually don’t take those penalties.”
Evans and Dobbie counted two of the next three goals before the Swarm rallied to take a 15-9 lead. Snider and McFetridge scored a pair of late shorthanded goals to pull the Riggers within four goals, but that was as close as they would get.
Next up, the Roughnecks will play a home-and-home series against the Edmonton Rush. The two Alberta rivals will play in Edmonton on Friday night before returning back to the Saddledome for a rematch the following night. Both games start at 7 p.m.
“It’s a battle that we really enjoy getting involved in,” Pym said. “We want to go up there and obviously make up for the stinker that we threw down tonight.”