It was a rough Saturday night for the Calgary Roughnecks.
The Roughnecks (5-8) fell to the Toronto Rock (7-6) 17-14 in front of 12,097 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome, in what was a back and forth affair until the final frame.
Entering the fourth quarter of play, it was either team’s game to go out and seize, with the scoreboard reading 11-11.
In the end, it was the Rock who took control, rattling off four unanswered goals to start the final quarter of play.
“We were on the bench thinking we just need to take the lead, get that mental psyche, but we just couldn’t quite get it. It was tough,” said Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky.
“It was just one of those nights where we probably didn’t have our best.”
The Roughnecks found themselves in big hole early in the contest as they fell behind 6-1 in the opening quarter, which would lead to Frank Scigliano taking over in goal for Christian Del Bianco. He would return briefly, but ultimately spent a rare night on the bench.
The switch in goal appeared to spark the Roughnecks as they rattled off four straight goals to start the second quarter, and would eventually tie the game 8-8 just before half-time.
“There was going to be a point where he (Del Bianco) was going to stumble, and tonight was the night,” said Malawsky.
“It’s not so much what he didn’t do, but sometimes you just need to shake up the team.”
Scigliano finished the night with 31 saves on 41 shots, while Del Bianco stopped 11 shots on 17 attempts. On the other end of the floor, Rock goaltender Nick Rose was solid, finishing with 37 saves on 51 shots.
Although the Roughnecks failed to clinch a playoff spot tonight, forward Dane Dobbie said they actually prefer it that way.
“We want to earn our way; we said that before the game,” said Dobbie.
“I’d love to go into Vancouver next weekend and earn our way in. That’s something this team wants to pride ourselves on, and that’s what we’re looking forward to.”
Despite the loss, Dobbie had another solid outing on the scoresheet, leading the Roughnecks in scoring with six points (four goals, two assists), while his long-time teammate Curtis Dickson joined the 600-point club.
Dobbie said with Dickson needing only two points to hit the milestone, he knew it was going to happen tonight.
“Eight years, 600 points; that’s pretty incredible,” said Dobbie.
“He’s a heck of a player, and I think there’s going to be plenty more to come.”
Rock forward Rob Hellyer continued his impressive campaign with a monstrous nine points (three goals, six assists) on the evening.
Hellyer said his individual offensive success, along with team’s success is something they’ve been anticipating over the past couple weeks.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Hellyer.
“The last few games we’ve been moving the ball well and getting a lot of chances, but tonight we actually put them in the net.”
The Rock remain in a heated playoff race in the East division, where one win or loss can be the difference between first or last place.
Hellyer said it’s going to be key for them to keep the intensity up and keep their foot on the gas pedal.
“We need to play desperate every game now,” said Hellyer.
“Every game’s like a playoff game now.”
- Rob Hellyer (TOR)
- Curtis Dickson (CGY)
- Kieran McArdle (TOR)