Sibling rivalry heats up

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

There's likely to be little brotherly love between the Dowling boys this week.

When former Roughneck Ted makes his return to the 'Dome Friday (7:30 p.m., Ch. 27) in National Lacrosse League action for the first time as a member of the San Jose Stealth, his older brother Jeff will be on the Calgary bench serving as an assistant coach.

Ted will be trying to score goals for his new club. Jeff, as the Riggers' defensive guru, will be devising strategies to stop him and the rest of the potentially potent San Jose offence.

Because of that, there has been little chatter between the two lately, revealed Ted.

"I don't imagine he'll talk to me this week," said Ted, who led the Roughnecks with 38 goals last season before retiring after Calgary's championship win in May. "I have two calls into him and he hasn't called me back yet."

This weekend's home-and-home series between the Stealth and Roughnecks has major implications in the NLL West Division playoff hunt.

The Stealth has lost five straight and hasn't won since Jan. 29. San Jose needs at least a split this weekend to keep its post-season hopes alive.

The dominant storyline going into the games, however, is Ted's first game against the team he helped lead to an NLL championship last year.

As for who Mom and Dad Dowling will be rooting for, Jeff quipped: "Oh, they'll be cheering for him. He's the baby."

Seriously, though, Jeff said he's not trying to approach the game any differently than any regular-season tilt.

"I don't think we'll match up anyone on Ted specifically," said Jeff.

"Our guys know what he likes to do and we'll just make sure we try to use our strengths against him and the rest of their offence."

One of only five players in NLL history to score 300 goals, Ted retired after the championship game, citing the need to spend more time with his young family. He said he was content to go out on top.

In the off-season, Calgary traded his rights to San Jose for a conditional draft pick and the Stealth's gamble paid off as Dowling ended his short retirement earlier this month.

Some Calgary fans are upset Ted ended his retirement and is now with the Stealth but he said doesn't regret his decision.

"What I said, about going out on top, that's what I felt at the time and I don't regret saying it, not at all," said Ted.

"But things can change and the way you feel can change. It's tough to explain to people who've never gone through it what it feels like to leave the game and get that urge to come back and play again. It's like looking at someone and saying why can't they quit smoking if you've never smoked."


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