The last five minutes proved to be the most important as the Calgary Roughnecks pulled away to beat the Washington Stealth 13-10 on Saturday night at the Comcast Arena.
With time winding down and the score tied at 10, Curtis Dickson and Scott Ranger scored in succession to give the ‘Necks a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Roughnecks got out to an early lead courtesy of Jeff Shattler who scored at 1:18 of the first quarter. For every goal the Roughnecks scored, the answered, and Rhys Duch’s power-play goal evened the score at 3-all after the first.
At the half the Stealth had a 5-4 advantage after a late second-quarter goal by Jeff Zywicki. In the first half, Duch provided most of the Stealth’s firepower with three goals and two assists.
Within the first three minutes of the third quarter, the Roughnecks potted three unanswered goals by Shattler, Curtis Manning and Geoff Snider to take a 7-5 lead. “I thought we started getting a little undisciplined there. The first half I thought we played very well defensively,” said Stealth head coach Art Webster.
The Stealth responded with a short-handed goal from Lewis Ratcliff, but ended the quarter trailing 8-6.
Paul Rabil and Cliff Smith scored in the fourth for Washington (0-1), knotting the score at 8. Each team would score twice before Calgary broke the game open.
Duch led the way with four goals for the Stealth, while Shattler had three for the Roughnecks.
After the game, Stealth goalender Tyler Richards reflected on his performance. “It’s more frustrating …you know not being able to bail them out a few times. I felt like I let the guys down,” he said.
It was a heated affair throughout with chippy play between two division rivals.
“It was a great win. Games like that, championship teams win… we had revenge on our mind from last year when they took what we wanted to accomplish. That was our main goal - to win that game - and it was awesome,” said Roughnecks transition player Jeff Shattler.
Up next for the Roughnecks (2-0) is their home opener at the Scotiabank Saddledome on January 21 against the Colorado Mammoth. Meanwhile, the Stealth (0-1) will travel to Philadelphia to play against the Wings on the same date. "We have some things to iron out", said Webster about the upcoming week.