It was complete and utter domination by the Calgary Roughnecks.
The Roughnecks (4-5) blasted the visiting Vancouver Stealth (1-9) 20-12 Friday night in front of 8,874 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome, en route to their third straight win.
They continued to show their much-improved play in comparison to early in the season, besting their foes on all areas of the floor.
“The atmosphere has changed, and the guys are buying into playing an even keel style all the way through,” said Roughnecks assistant coach Rob Williams.
“We have a lot of young guys, but we have great leaders. It’s just coming to together now with the help of the leadership.”
It was yet another strong outing for goaltender Christian Del Bianco, who started and won his third straight game.
Del Bianco finished the contest with 48 saves on 60 shots, and continues to provide the rest of the team with momentum and confidence.
“We have confidence in both our goalies, but Christian has simply been outstanding,” said Williams.
The performance in goal wasn’t quite replicated on the other end of the floor as both Stealth goaltenders struggled to slow down the Roughnecks offense. Starter Eric Penney finished with 14 saves on 24 shots, while Brodie MacDonald didn’t fare much better, finishing with 32 saves on 42 shots.
The Stealth jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the game, but the Roughnecks would end the first quarter scoring five goals in under four minutes.
The onslaught continued into the second quarter as the Roughnecks held a commanding 13-4 lead at the half. The Stealth would fight back slightly in the third quarter, but still trailed 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Roughnecks received goals from nine different players, including a monstrous performance from forward Holden Cattoni.
Cattoni finished the night with 11 points (five goals, six assists) to lead the team in scoring, and said there was a point in the game where he almost felt unstoppable.
“When we went on that eight-goal run, I had three goals in there and it just kind of rolled,” said Cattoni.
“It was good to break out and have a good game like that.”
The Roughnecks will head to Saskatchewan next week with hopes of avenging their heartbreaking overtime loss to the Rush three weeks ago.
Cattoni said in order to come away with their fourth straight win, they simply need to do what they did tonight.
“It’s big for us to have the whole team chip in offensively. It’s huge,” said Cattoni.
“Scoring five-on-five isn’t easy in this league and those transition goals are back-breakers for these teams, so we need to keep them coming.”
The disappointing season for the Stealth only got worse in the defeat as they have now lost five straight, with this eight-goal defeat all but wrapping up their season.
Head coach Jamie Batley said they played a solid first seven minutes, but from there it was the transition game that failed them.
“Their transition game absolutely killed us,” said Batley.
“At the end of the day, they had six or seven transition goals, and you can’t win in this league when you give up that.”
The Stealth will head home for a date with the New England Black Wolves next weekend.
Batley said they have the confidence they can win in this league, but right now it’s simply about earning that first win.
“We have to get one win. That’s what our team is looking for right now,” said Batley.
“If we can get one win, we can build on that.”
- Holden Cattoni
- Curtis Dickson
- Wesley Berg