Sniper welcomed back

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

The Calgary Roughnecks bulked up for their run at a second straight National Lacrosse League championship last night, reacquiring former Riggers sniper Ted Dowling from the San Jose Stealth.

The club also signed former Vancouver Ravens starting netminder Dwight Maetche to the practice roster in another move described as insurance by team brass.

Both deals are pending league approval. The league's trade deadline is 3 p.m. today.

"I'm very happy I'm back with the Roughnecks," said Dowling, whose older brother Jeff is an assistant coach with Calgary. "I'm disappointed with how things went in San Jose. We had a good team there and I wish things worked out better but I'm happy to be back in Calgary."

Roughnecks GM Dave Bremner didn't release the terms of the Dowling deal last night but said the team was pleased to get the talented lefty back in the lineup.

"It's just going to be some good insurance for us and strengthen our chances of winning the Cup again," he said.

Bremner said he wasn't necessarily done dealing and was still working on another potential trade late last night.

Dowling, a 12-year NLL veteran, led the Roughnecks with 38 goals last season, his first in Calgary.

Dowling decided to retire after the Roughnecks' Champion's Cup victory last May, citing the need to spend more time with his young family, but he left the door open for a return down the road.

The Riggers, however, decided to trade his rights in the off-season to the Stealth for a conditional draft pick in 2006.

If Dowling played five games this season, Calgary would receive a first-round pick. If he played less than five -- which he had to this point -- a second rounder.

In four games with the Stealth, who at 3-9 are all but eliminated from the playoffs, Dowling notched 10 goals and four assists, including five goals in back-to-back losses to the Roughnecks last weekend.

Dowling, currently in Seattle on business, said he brought his equipment -- including his Riggers helmet -- and will fly straight to Arizona to play against the Sting tomorrow night (7:30 p.m.).

Dowling said knowing San Jose didn't want to give up a first-rounder if they weren't going to make the playoffs, he was hoping the rumours of a trade back to Calgary would come true after last weekend's back-to-back losses.

"I definitely thought in the back of my mind something would get worked out," said Dowling.

As for whether he'll play next season, Dowling -- one of only five players to have scored 300 goals in the NLL -- said he's not prepared to make any comment on that.

"Next year is next year," said Dowling. "I don't want to make any promises. Right now, my word, as far as lacrosse goes, is mud. I'm just going to concentrate on this year and winning another championship."


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