Roughnecks Hold Off Bandits in Kelusky's Return to Calgary
by Jeffrey Baker | NLL.com
CALGARY, Alberta -- The Calgary Roughnecks' season got off to a quick start after the team scored just 16 seconds into the game against the Buffalo Bandits. The Roughnecks never looked back, winning the season opener 10-9 over the Bandits at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. Tracey Kelusky returned home to cheers as the Roughnecks welcomed him back with a heartwarming pre-game ceremony.
Scott Ranger led the Roughnecks by scoring all five of his goals in the first half, helping the Riggers to an 8-5 halftime lead. Calgary goalie Mike Poulin made several key breakaway stops en route to a 47-save performance, while Mike Thompson made 37 saves in net for the Bandits.
A late Bandits rally came up just short after the Bandits pulled within a goal by scoring with 17 seconds remaining. Calgary won possession of the ball with eight seconds left and held on to win the season opener.
Mark Steenhuis and Roger Vyse each had two goals for the Bandits. Tracey Kelusky scored the Bandits first goal in 2011, while John Tavares was held scoreless with 10 shots on goal. Kaleb Toth had a goal and three assists for Calgary, while Dane Dobbie and Jeff Shattler each contributed three assists as well.
Calgary goaltender Mike Poulin held the Buffalo scoreless over the last 14:42 of the game. Geoff Snider's goal broke a 9-9 tie and turned out to be the game winner as the Roughnecks held on for the win.
The Bandits travel to Philadelphia to take on the Wings next Saturday, January 15 at 7:30pm ET, while the Roughnecks will play their second game this weekend on Sunday, January 9 against the Washington Stealth at 8pm ET.