January 21, 2014

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NLL Notes: Dobbie Doing it Again for Calgary

by Neil Stevens | LaxMagazine.com| Twitter

Dane Dobbie is once again starring for the Roughnecks, standing  atop the league's points per game race so far this season. (NLL.com Archive photo)

Nobody plays lacrosse quite like Dane Dobbie.

The five-foot-eight Calgary attacker takes a ton of punishment from much bigger men in getting to creases to score goals. Dobbie scored 14 goals in the Roughnecks' first four games including five in a 15-12 home win over Vancouver last Saturday night.

Some of No. 44's talent has to be in his genes. He is from a Canadian lacrosse hotbed in southern Ontario that includes the towns of Elora and Fergus, where his dad, Larry Dobbie, and his grandfather, the late Robert Dobbie, were box lacrosse stars.

In 82 regular-season NLL games, Dane Dobbie has scored 197 goals. In seven playoff games, he has scored 18 goals. Those are mighty impressive numbers. He takes a beating and keeps right on scoring. He's 27 and is a Burnaby, B.C., electrician when he isn't wielding a lacrosse stick.

The last line in his bio on the team website: Lacrosse is . . . My life.

Dobbie currently is No. 1 in the league in goals scored per game. Here's the top 10:

1. Dobbie, 3.5 goals a game;
2. Toronto's Stephan Leblanc, 3.3;
3. Philadelphia's Jordan Hall and Edmonton's Mark Matthews, 3.0 each;
5. Calgary's Jeff Shattler and Vancouver's Rhys Duch, 2.75 each;
7. Edmonton's Curtis Knight and Zack Greer and Colorado's Adam Jones, 2.67 each;
10. Buffalo's Dhane Smith, 2.5.

Jones has the most goals, 16, but he's played six games compared to four for Dobbie (14 goals) and only three for Leblanc (10 goals) and Matthews (nine goals).

RATCLIFF ACHIEVES MILESTONE

Vancouver forward Lewis Ratcliff is the ninth player to amass more than 900 career points. A nine-point weekend did it for him.

The 900-Point Club: 1. John Tavares, Buffalo, 1,678; 2. Colin Doyle, Toronto, 1,273; 3. John Grant Jr., Colorado, 1,212; 4. Gary Gait, retired, 1,165; 5. Josh Sanderson, Toronto, 1,155; 6. Shawn Williams, Buffalo, 1,121; 7. Dan Dawson, Rochester, 963; 8. Gavin Prout, UFA, 922; 9. Ratcliff, 904.

FIRST GOALTENDING WIN FOR HIGGINS

Zach Higgins has his first NLL goaltending victory, which is saying a lot for a guy who was never drafted. He made the Minnesota Swarm roster out of a tryout and so impressed the brass that they traded Evan Kirk to make room for him.

Higgins, 23, from the town of Courtice east of Toronto, was sent into the Swarm crease in the fourth minute of play last Saturday with his team trailing 3-0 in Philadelphia. He stopped 17 of the first 18 shots he faced, while his teammates scored five in a row to take the lead, and he wound up stopping 31 of 38 as the Swarm prevailed 11-10.

He's wearing No. 31. He again relieved started Tyler Carlson at home on Sunday with the Wings ahead 7-3 in the middle of the second quarter. He stopped 27 or 35 shots in a game Philadelphia won 15-8.

They are teammates now, but Higgins and Carlson were opponents as recently as last summer. The Brooklin Redmen, with Higgins in goal, knocked off the Peterborough Lakers, with Carlson in goal, in Ontario's Major Series Lacrosse semifinals.

FIRST NLL GOALS FOR CHURCH AND REINHOLDT

Two rookies got their first NLL goals in the second quarter of Edmonton's 15-8 home win over Calgary last Friday night.

Robert Church (Drexel) scored with a low shot while falling into the crease to put the Rush up 5-1, inducing Calgary to lift starting goalie Mike Poulin and briefly send in backup Frank Scigliano. Late in the quarter, with Edmonton leading 8-2, the Roughnecks' Tor Reinholdt (Limestone) got around defender Jeremy Thompson and dove into the crease to bounce a ball past Aaron Bold for his first NLL goal.

FIRST GOAL IN FIRST GAME

Nick Weiss, wearing 44, scored for Vancouver in his first NLL game. He paid a price, too, putting his shot behind goalie Mike Poulin from the front edge of the crease as he was being bashed to the green carpet 31 seconds into the fourth quarter to tie it 10-10. Besides his goal, Weiss picked up an assist and gathered in four loose balls. Calgary went on to win 15-12.

Weiss was a second-round draft pick, 17th overall, out of the Peterborough, Ontario, junior team. The six-foot-two, 195-pound forward was a member of a Saskatchewan team that won the Canadian midget hockey championship five years ago.

ALLEN SCORES

Rochester defenseman Mac Allen made his first NLL goal since April 9, 2011, look easy. Having an open net to shoot at undoubtedly helped. Allen capped the scoring with a breakaway shot after Toronto pulled goalie Nick Rose and the Knighthawks won 12-8 at home.

Allen, in his eighth NLL season, has made an impressive comeback after missing most of last season, when he was with Colorado, due to a serious leg injury. He lives in Toronto and is a lawyer Mondays through Fridays.

RATING DEFENSES

Hands up everybody who believes defense wins championships.

Here's how NLL teams stack up in goals against per game: 1. Rochester 7.67; 2. Edmonton 8.0; 3. Minnesota 10.25; 4. Philadelphia 11.4; 5. Vancouver 11.5; 6. Toronto 11.67; 7. Buffalo 11.75; 8. Calgary 13.5; 9. Colorado 14.17.

Rochester (3-0) and Edmonton (3-0) are the only undefeated teams. It's no coincidence they are 1-2 in goals against averages. Conversely, Colorado (1-5) is allowing the most goals. It's no coincidence it is last overall.

RATING OFFENSES

Edmonton is looking good at both ends of the floor.

Here's how the teams stack up in goals for per game: 1. Edmonton 15.0; 2. Buffalo 13.25; 3. Philadelphia 12.4; 4. Calgary 11.75; 5. Vancouver 11.5; 6. Toronto 11.3; 7. Rochester 11.0; 8. Colorado 10.3; 9. Minnesota 7.5.

RUSH TRADING COUPS

There was defenseman Chris Corbeil, the captain's C on his chest, firing in three goals to help the Edmonton Rush beat the Calgary Roughnecks 15-8 last weekend, reinforcing the fact that getting Corbeil was one of the best trades in Rush history, and that's not all.

Buffalo drafted him 15th overall in 2009 but in September 2011 traded him to Edmonton for the No. 9 entry draft pick, which was used to select Syracuse star Jeremy Thompson. Then in Dec. 2012, the Bandits traded Thompson to Edmonton for Aaron Wilson and a second-round 2013 pick. The pick was used to take Nick Diachenko, who was released at the end of the training camp.

So, let's see, the Rush now have both Corbeil and Thompson, who has emerged as their main faceoff man, and the Bandits have fading vet Wilson.


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