NLL: 'Necks Top Titans in Champion's Cup Rematch
by Josh Chalmers | NLL.com
* Blazers Rattle Rush on Road, 12-5
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Calgary Roughnecks beat the Orlando Titans 13-6 at Amway Arena on Saturday night in the first game between the two teams since last season's championship game. The win improves the Roughnecks to 6-4, while the Titans fall to 6-4.
Orlando is now only a half game in front of the Toronto Rock (6-5) in the East Division heading into a matchup with the Rock next weekend. Calgary's win moved them to within one game of the Washington Stealth (7-3), who currently lead the West Division.
The Roughnecks got off to a hot start led by Josh Sanderson's tremendous passing and the overall success of their power play. Sanderson was involved in all four first quarter goals for the Roughnecks.
The Riggers scored two early power play goals, one on a 5-on-3 seven minutes in and the second less than a minute later on the remaining one-man advantage. Sanderson set up both goals with behind the back feeds. Dane Dobbie netted the first goal and Tracey Kelusky was the beneficiary of the second. Sanderson would score the only even strength goal for the 'Necks, before finding a streaking Dane Dobbie on the power play for his fourth point of the quarter. All four Calgary goals were scored in a span of 3:14.
Orlando got on the board 11:18 into the first when Ryan Boyle scored from in tight on the Titans' first official shot of the game. Orlando would only get two shots in the quarter.
The Roughnecks' domination continued in the second quarter with Sanderson potting two more goals, the first even strength and the second shorthanded. Craig Conn would score a rare two-man shorthanded goal for the Riggers. Casey Powell scored on the power play to provide Orlando's only goal of the quarter. The 'Necks carried a 7-2 lead into halftime.
The Titans fought back in the third quarter, scoring four goals in the frame. Powell, who missed last week's games and was day-to-day heading into the game against the 'Necks, scored his second of the game and set up another. Jesse Guerin added two, including a diving goal from behind the Riggers net. Despite the Titans' efforts they were unable to gain any ground as Kelusky scored two and the 'Necks matched the Titans' four goals to hold an 11-6 lead heading into the final frame.
Calgary went into shutdown mode in the fourth, letting the shot clock run out on the majority of offensive possessions. The Roughnecks would add two goals in the period and wouldn't give up any.
The Roughnecks were led by Sanderson (4g, 4a), Kelusky (4g) and Dobbie (2g, 5a). The Titans offense was led by Powell (2g, 3a), Guerin (2g) and Boyle (1g, 2a).
Goaltender Mike Poulin got his second start of the 2010 NLL season. Poulin started and played the full 60 minutes in the Boston Blazers' third game of the season, a 12-8 loss to Philadelphia. Poulin, who was acquired by Calgary in exchange for a draft pick earlier in the season, previously saw action for the 'Necks when he replaced Matt King in the second quarter of a 10-8 win over the Toronto Rock.
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