Rusty Roughnecks falter in Philly

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:48 AM ET

In their quest to clinch a National Lacrosse League playoff berth, the Calgary Roughnecks were looking to clip the Wings in Philadelphia last night.

Instead, they turned in their second-worst defensive performance of the season in an ugly 19-13 loss.

With the defeat, the Roughnecks fell to 7-5.

The Wings, fresh off a 12-9 loss to the Toronto Rock Friday night, improved their Eastern Division-leading record to 8-5.

Calgary captain Tracey Kelusky had a breakout game and led the Riggers with five goals and three assists. Kaleb Toth had a hat trick and a helper while Lewis Ratcliff added two goals and three assists. Shawn Cable (1g, 2a), Kyle Goundrey (1g, 5a) and Jason Wulder (1g) rounded out the scoring for Calgary.

Tony Henderson led the Wings with four goals and three assists. Tom Marechek, Jeff Spano and Jeff Ratcliffe added three each for Philly with Keith Cromwell tossing in a pair and Ryan Traynor, Mark Frye and Dan Marohl adding singles.

Philadelphia got out to a quick start in the game, scoring seven goals on their first 10 shots. Curtis Palidwor started the game for the Roughnecks but was pulled after the fifth goal for backup Matt King. Palidwor later returned between the pipes.

Calgary was coming off a three-week layoff and the rust apparently showed early, although head coach Chris Hall refused to lay the blame on that.

\"Probably,\" he admitted when asked if the layoff hurt his team. \"But do we want to use that as an excuse? No.\"

The loss came before a season-high crowd of 15,669 at the First Union Centre. Hall said the packed house was rabid and got into it early, booing the Canadian anthem.

\"The place was alive, the joint was jumping,\" said Hall. \"Motivationally, (the Wings) were higher than a kite. The crowd was wired and (the Wings) were wired and they got some quick goals early and were really jumping.\"

The Roughnecks clawed back in the game and trailed only 10-7 at the half. At one point in the third quarter the Riggers trailed only 11-10 before the Wings pulled away.

Hall said the Roughnecks special teams played poorly and contributed to the loss.

The Roughnecks are on Long Island today where they will face the 1-12 New York Saints.


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