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Roughnecks hold off Rochester for sixth straight win

04/06/2012, 9:35pm EDT
By Travis Larner, Rochester Knighthawks beat writer for NLL.com

Former Knighthawk Evans has three goals, six assists for Calgary

Last week, Rochester saw former Knighthawk John Grant Jr. put up three goals and eight assists in a loss to Colorado.  

On Friday night, it was Shawn Evans’ turn to bedevil his old team.

Evans had three goals and six assists and the Calgary Roughnecks tied a franchise record with their sixth straight win after holding off the Knighthawks 15-14.  

“It feels great,” said Evans, who was acquired last year for the fifth overall pick in the NLL Entry Draft. “Definitely I had mixed emotions going into that game. … They battled back hard, but we stuck together. Good teams find a way to win.”

Dane Dobbie scored four goals in the victory that gave the Roughnecks (11-3), who have already been assured of hosting a playoff game, a one-half game lead in the West Division over idle Colorado.

“Sometimes your offense had to win you games and that’s what they did tonight,” Roughnecks coach Dave Pym said. “Guys like Dane Dobbie took a pounding in the middle of the floor and kept going back and scoring big goals.”

Johnny Powless – selected with the pick acquired for Evans – had three goals and four assists for a season-high seven points while Stephen Keogh scored three goals with three assists for Rochester (5-8), which has dropped three straight.

The Knighthawks, who trailed by as many as seven, clawed their way back in the fourth quarter. Down 13-9 after three, Cody Jamieson, Powless and Mike Accursi scored to cut the deficit to one.

After Calgary extended its lead to 15-12, Craig Point and Accursi scored to again make it a one-goal game, but Roughnecks goaltender Mike Poulin withstood a wild scramble in the crease an stopped an over-the-shoulder shot from Cory Vitarelli in the final seconds to preserve the win.

“That series of saves that he made at the end there, that’s just All-Star quality,” Pym said. “That’s the kind of things that he does. You’ve got to make those kind of saves to win championships.”

Calgary held a 4-3 lead in the second quarter before reeling off four goals in a 62-second span. Dobbie scored a power-play goal at 7:37 and Scott Ranger followed with his second goal of the game just 23 seconds after that.

Curtis Dickson’s second goal extended the Riggers’ lead to 7-3 at 8:13. Rochester replaced Matt Vinc briefly with Jake Henhawk, who was beaten by Jeff Shattler at 8:39 with an unassisted marker and Calgary never trailed after that.

Evans had two goals and four assists in the first half.

Poulin finished with 47 saves on 61 shots for Calgary, which wrapped up its regular-season home schedule. Vinc stopped 38 of 52 shots and added two assists.

The Roughnecks and Knighthawks will finish the home-and-home set on April 14 in Rochester. 

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