After going down 2-0 early to the visiting Calgary Roughnecks on Friday night, the San Diego Seals rallied back to beat their neighbors of the north, 15-9, and remain undefeated at home (2-0) on the season. The win shoots San Diego up to second place in the Western Division at 3-2 and sends Calgary (3-3) down to third.
Roughnecks veteran goalie Christian Del Bianco held the Seals to just five goals and logged 46 saves in Calgary’s home win over San Diego earlier in the season, but his trip to Pechanga Arena didn’t go quite as well. Led by forwards Casey Jackson and Austin Staats, San Diego ripped Bianco apart to the tune of 15 goals, good for the second-highest goal count he’s allowed in a single game this season.
With his hat trick and four assists Friday night, Staats has now scored at least three goals and five points in all three of the games following his scoreless outing against the Roughnecks in late December. The first overall selection in the 2018 NLL Draft, San Diego’s Staats now ranks second in the league in goals (16), tied for sixth in points (29) and second in shots on goal (62).
Jackson was the Seals’ surprise contributor on the offensive end against Calgary, as his three goals on Friday doubled his season total in 2019. The 28-year-old second-year veteran, who was plucked from the Vancouver Warriors in the 2018 NLL Expansion Draft, now has 12 goals, seven assists and 39 shots on goal in nine career games.
Forwards Dan Dawson and Garrett Billings, two of San Diego’s oldies but goodies sitting at 37 and 32 years old, respectively, combined for 11 points in the team’s win over Calgary. Dawson (2G, 3A) has now picked up at least four points in back-to-back games for the Seals.
On the opposite end, Seals veteran goalie and former Roughneck Frank Scigliano turned in an impressive performance against his old friends, logging multiple impressive stops en route to 37 saves on the night. Now five games into his eighth season in the NLL, Scigliano ranks second behind Del Bianco in saves (216) and third in save percentage (.794).
Calgary forward Dane Dobbie, the NLL’s current leader in goals (17) and points (35), only snuck two goals by Scigliano and finished the game with five points (2G, 3 A). Roughnecks 11-year veteran Rhys Duch, the third overall pick in the 2008 NLL Draft, tied with Dobbie for the team lead in points at five, as he too scored twice and logged three assists.
While Scigliano played the primary role in holding Dobbie and Co. to just nine goals, San Diego’s Drew Belgrave and Tor Reinholdt each turned in quality minutes on the defensive end. Belgrave forced a turnover, scooped up four loose balls and recorded two assists in the affair, and Reinholdt, who ranks tied for third in forced turnovers (nine), scooped seven loose balls and added two forced turnovers to his season total.
San Diego travels north to square off against Jackson’s former team, the Vancouver Warriors, for a game scheduled for 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday. Vancouver beat the Roughnecks to open the season but has dropped four consecutive games since. The Warriors will look to get back on track against a red hot Seals team riding a two-game winning streak.