Calgary Takes Round One in Battle of Alberta
from press release
CALGARY – On the strength of a six-goal outburst in the fourth quarter the Calgary Roughnecks defeated the Edmonton Rush 12-8 in National Lacrosse League action Saturday at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Calgary improved to 4-2 on the campaign and found its first win on home turf this season as the Roughnecks broke a 6-6 tie in the fourth quarter and outscored Edmonton six-goals to two in the frame to take the first instalment of the Battle of Alberta.
The Rush (1-4), dropped their third road contest in a row in the first of four meetings between the two clubs and was held to nine-or-fewer goals for the third consecutive time this season.
“You put a lot of pressure on the defense when the offense isn’t scoring and our ‘D’ was really good all night and then we weren’t good late,” said Rush head coach and GM Derek Keenan. “That’s what happens when you’re not scoring.
“I don’t want to put it all on the offense because it is a team game, but scoring eight goals is not good enough. We executed well and had a lot of opportunities in the first half, but missed the net 19 times with quality opportunities. We have to hit the net with those shots.”
The contest featured a matchup between two high-pressure defenses, two of the top netminders in the NLL and two sets of brothers playing against each other as Scott Evans and Jeff Cornwall suited up for Edmonton and Shawn Evans and Travis Cornwall wore Roughneck silks.
Scott Evans (2G, 3A) led the Rush on the night with five points and Corey Small (2G, 2A) had four points, while Tom Johnson (1G, 2A) and Ryan Ward (1G, 2A) both had three points and Zack Greer and Jarrett Toll added singles.
Curtis Dickson fired a hat-trick and added two assists for Calgary and Jeff Shattler (2G, 3A) also had a five-point effort, while Shawn Evans (1G, 3A) and Travis Cornwall (2G) also contributed offensively for the Roughnecks.
Edmonton’s Aaron Bold (1-4) stopped 37-of-49 shots in the loss and Mike Poulin (3-2) earned the win for Calgary with 41 stops on 49 shots.
“Poulin was awesome tonight,” Keenan added. “We through a lot at him with different looks and shots and he stopped most of them and played really well for them. And unfortunately for Aaron Bold, we wasted another strong performance by him.”
The opening quarter was a low scoring affair with Calgary hitting the scoreboard first, just under five-minutes into play fresh off a successful penalty kill, before Edmonton answered back when Greer cut towards the middle and dialled long-distance with a ripper past Poulin to knot the score 1-1.
There was no more scoring until the dying moments of the first quarter, when Small, on top of the crease, took a feed from Ward and scored with less than four-seconds remaining for a 2-1 Edmonton lead.
Calgary netted two goals early in the second quarter to retake the lead 3-2 and then continued its run with two more goals in a span of 17-seconds midway through the frame for a three-goal bulge in the contest into half-time.
Shots were tied 25-apiece through two quarters of play and the Calgary penalty kill shut Edmonton out in four opportunities.
The Rush fired first in the third quarter when Ward, cutting behind the defense, was spring by Evans and found the back of the net 3:01 into the frame for a 5-3 Calgary lead.
Poulin continued to shine in net for the Riggers in the second half when he thwarted Edmonton’s Johnston on a short-handed effort and then the Rush continued to pressure when Evans drove the net and ducked under a Calgary defender and past Poulin to make the score 5-4 with just over six-minutes remaining the stanza.
After the Roughnecks quickly answered back 23-seconds later, Edmonton hit the board again when Toll snuck behind the Calgary ‘D’ and his diving effort hit pay-dirt and then Small tied the score 6-6 with a ripper just 52-seconds later.
Rush goaltender Bold made two huge saves against the Calgary transition in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and then Poulin responded with a couple of key stops in the Calgary crease minutes later.
Calgary moved ahead 7-6 when Shattler capitalised on a loose ball in front of the Edmonton net and put it past Bold and then the Riggers continued the run with four more goals for a 10-6 lead before Edmonton’s Evans drove the net hard for his second of the night with 3:20 remaining.
The Roughnecks fired back quickly with two more goals to build a 12-7 lead before Edmonton’s Johnson closed out the scoring in the 12-8 Calgary victory.
Edmonton returns for home action Friday February 24 at Crystal
Glass Field at Rexall Place against Brodie Merrill and the
Rush Mush: EDM is 6-13 against CGY...EDM went 1-for-5 on the power-play and 3-for-4 on the PK… shots were tied 49-49...Shawn Williams appeared in his 185th consecutive NLL game...the two clubs next meet March 9th at Rexall Place... EDM scratched T Eric Lewthwaite, T Jesse Fehr and T Paul Rabil…EDM announced Rabil was hoping for a trade to an Eastern US Market that he'd be more comfortable with. Both sides are going to take a week or so to digest this and figure out the best plan moving forward and will then update media and fans.