Edmonton’s Shawn Williams became the sixth player in NLL history to score 1,000 points while tying the NLL’s ironman streak, but the Calgary Roughnecks came away with a 16-9 win over the Rush on Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Williams reached the scoring milestone with his third of four assists in the game on Zack Greer’s goal 3:55 into the second period that gave Edmonton a 7-6 lead.
Williams joins John Tavares, Gary Gait, Colin Doyle, Josh Sanderson and John Grant Jr. in the 1,000-point club. Grant, the NLL’s scoring leader this season with Colorado, notched his 1,000th point, coincidentally, against Calgary in January.
“Well, obviously, it’s bittersweet,” Williams said. “A milestone like that you’ve got to be proud, but the stat we’re worried about is our record.”
Williams’ 1,000th point also came on the same night he played in his 188th straight game. The 15-year veteran now shares the ironman mark with Doyle and Steve Toll, and can own the record outright next Saturday when the Rush visit Philadelphia.
“He’s a class guy and I wish it could’ve been in better circumstances,” said Rush head coach and general manager Derek Keenan. “He’s been a great player for a long time and I know Willy, he’d rather taken the win than the stats.”
The score was 9-all when Calgary (7-3) exploded with three goals early in the fourth quarter to take the lead for good. Shawn Evans, Jeff Shattler and Geoff Snider found the back of the net in a 71-second span, helping the Roughnecks complete a weekend sweep in the Battle of Alberta.
Evans had five goals - the last coming on a penalty shot - and Peter McFetridge scored three for Calgary, which has won the last nine head-to-head matchups against its provincial rivals.
“We have a good squad here and we just kept pushing,” said Evans. “It was 9-9 going into the fourth quarter and we knew what we have on the offense and our defense held them.”
Greer had three goals with an assist and Scott Evans chipped in with two goals and two assists for Edmonton (2-6).
The Rush’s Evans totaled eight goals and three assists in the weekend set.
Calgary got off to a quick start with Evans and Snider scoring past Aaron Bold in the first 19 seconds and starting what would be a long night for Edmonton’s goaltenders.
Bold – the NLL leader in goals-against average coming into the contest – would stop 23 of 34 shots while playing 39:23. Brodie MacDonald made eight saves on 13 shots while logging 20:37 in his first action of the season.
MacDonald also was assessed a five-minute major with 1:08 to play for a vicious two-handed slash to the ankle of Shawn Evans.
Mike Poulin was solid in the Calgary net, finishing the contest with 40 saves on 49 shots. He turned away 42 of 52 shots during Saturday’s win in Edmonton.
“Poulin again had another good night and made some big saves,” Calgary coach Dave Pym said. “Two in a row for a goalie in this league back-to-back is tough.”