Ogie plays hero role

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

It was an unfamiliar situation yesterday for veteran National Lacrosse League defender Andy Ogilvie.

The ball in his stick, going in one-on-one against the netminder and only a goal standing between him and victory.

The 39-year-old made good, slipping the ball past Andrew Leyshon to win the Calgary Roughnecks end-of-practice shootout at the National Sports Development Centre.

With offensive stars such as Tracy Kelusky, Kaleb Toth and Jason Wulder already eliminated and sitting along the boards with the rest of the Riggers, it came down to Ogilvie and last season's team scoring leader Lewis Ratcliff.

Ratcliff missed and then Ogilvie cashed in, leading to an eruption of cheers from his new teammates who leapt to their feet hollering 'Ogie, Ogie!'

"I don't get that many shots during games," joked Ogilvie, who was taking part in his first Calgary practice after being signed as a free agent by the defending league champs earlier this week. "So even if it's practice, I have to make good."

The 6-ft. 1-in., 218-lb., Ogilvie is known more for his hard-hitting, solid defence and pugilistic penchant than his touch around the twine.

One of the nicest guys you'll met off the floor, Ogilvie is anything but once he steps on the carpet.

"You can't be a passive lacrosse player," said the Vancouver resident. "You have to be aggressive. That's lacrosse. Aggressive on the floor but if you did that off the floor, you'd be in jail most of the time."

Arguably the reigning NLL heavyweight champ, Ogilvie is a one-man wrecking crew when he drops the mitts. The nickname Ogie likely has as much to do with his last name as it does the fictional goon Ogie Ogilthorpe from the movie Slap Shot.

"It's not something you can really concentrate on because every game is so important," said Ogilvie. "If you get in a fight, you're taking a five-minute penalty at least. So it's not something that's needed that much. If you go with the other guy, it's all right because you both get five minutes. Other than that, it can get costly."

Fighting has a place in the game, though, especially when opposing teams take liberties with your club's top scorers, said Ogilvie.

"You do it to sort of send a message sometimes," he explained. "Some of the smaller forwards get picked on by some of the big defenceman and you have to go down and have a talk with them."

One famous Ogie story rises from his days with the Buffalo Bandits against the Toronto Rock at the ACC a few years ago.

After a particularly rough game, Ogilvie walked to centre floor after the final buzzer and seemingly challenged the entire Rock team. It's become part of NLL lore but Ogilvie said that's not exactly what happened.

"Oh yeah," said Oglilvie, cracking a broad smile. "That's what everyone thought. But what I was doing actually was they wouldn't shake hands so I was sort of showing them up for being poor sports but, of course, most people thought I was calling on the team, which I wasn't. It was misinterpreted."

Given his reputation, the confusion is understandable.

QUICK STICKS: Add two more players to Calgary's growing infirmary. D Scott Forbes tweaked his hamstring and is expected to be out a few weeks while D Ryan Sharp, a second-round pick this year, hurt his shoulder and will be out 4-to-6 weeks ... The Riggers are off this week before getting back to business in advance of the season opener in Denver Jan. 1.


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