Dane Dobbie scored six goals to help the Calgary Roughnecks (6-5) get back in the win column and hand the Minnesota Swarm (3-7) their third-straight loss with a 19-15 home win at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night.
Dobbie opened the scoring 1:28 into the game and tied the game at 2-2 four minutes later after the Swarm scored twice in two minutes. The teams traded goals for a 3-3 tie after the first quarter.
The early goal stoked Dobbie’s confidence for the remainder of the game.
“That’s the good thing about this team, a guy gets a goal early and we keep getting the ball back to him and we keep going to him,” Dobbie said. “So once I got hot, they kept giving me the ball and that’s how good our offense is.”
Dobbie was given a hard time last week when Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky felt that his game wasn’t on.
“He got called out last week for standing around and not moving his feet,” Malawsky said.
But it was hard work that turned his performance around for the night.
“This week I really brought it,” Dobbie said. “I had to train hard this week and it had a lot to do with the other offensive players giving me the ball.”
Despite Dobbie’s outstanding performance, where he tied the franchise’s all-time record for powerplay goals (58), he wasn’t the only one who was on for the Roughnecks in the win.
“We bounced back,” said Roughnecks forward Jeff Shattler in reference to their tough loss to the Edmonton Rush last weekend. “I love playing with [Dobbie]. Always have. We play really well together, we have for years, and tonight we really blew up.”
What was a huge second quarter for the Roughnecks, nine goals in one quarter – the most by an NLL team in a single quarter so far this season – it was also where the Roughnecks created their five-goal lead that they maintained for most of the game.
Malawsky said that they didn’t play different in the second quarter, but just that the little things were going their way. Poulin’s performance was a big reason they were able to get five unanswered in the second.
“I said to [Poulin] after the game – it’s not how many [saves] you make – it’s when you make them and I thought he was big,” Malawsky said. “He worked his butt off. He went up and down and post to post and he helped us out.”
Malawsky added that a lot of guys sacrificed their bodies to block shots.
“Those are things that don’t come on the scoresheet but it shows when guys take their shirts off and they’ve got bumps and bruises,” he said. “That’s what you need to do in this game, whatever it takes, no matter what. That’s what we did tonight.”
Despite the five unanswered goals in the second quarter, the Swarm were able to keep up the tempo with the Roughnecks. After a tight first quarter, Minnesota lost their push the rest of the way.
“As the game progressed, calls went their way, and we didn’t answer,” said Swarm head coach Joe Sullivan. “Our defense started to ball watch and sit back and play not as aggressive as we needed to. We pride ourselves on being a team that goes out and presses the ball and can contain a player one-on-one. We didn’t do that and we left our goalie high and dry at times.”
Dobbie scored his sixth goal to complete his “sock trick” less than six minutes into the fourth quarter for a 17-12 lead. Minnesota scored twice in the final three minutes, but the deficit was too large to overcome.
Calgary’s scoring was led by Dobbie’s team-high 10 points (6+4), Shawn Evans had eight points (1+7), Shattler had six points (4+2) while Geoff Snider had a game-high 18 loose balls. Minnesota’s Callum Crawford posted 10 points (3+7), Ryan Benesch had seven points (4+3) and a team-high four goals, and rookie Kiel Matisz had six points (2+4) in the losing effort.
Roughnecks goaltender Mike Poulin made 39 saves on 54 shots while Swarm netminders Evan Kirk and Tyler Carlson combined for just 33 stops on 52 shots. Both teams were perfect on the power play as Calgary went 4-for-4 and Minnesota went 2-for-2.
The Roughnecks took both games of the season series with the Swarm and snapped a two-game losing streak, which started after their 17-16 win in Minnesota on Feb. 16.