Play before fray

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:18 AM ET

The last time the Calgary Roughnecks played the Toronto Rock, five for fighting took on a slightly different meaning.

As in, five twosomes that were good for a scrap in the final minute of their National Lacrosse League tilt Feb. 12 at the Air Canada Centre.

With Toronto up 16-10 in what was a lop sided affair on the scoreboard and the penalty sheet -- Calgary was assessed 13 minors to Toronto's five -- a donnybrook erupted as the clock wound down with 10 fighting majors handed out in the final 60 seconds.

Roughneck rookies Ryan McNish and Jeff Moleski, along with veterans Kyle Goundrey, Andrew McBride and Jesse Phillips, all dropped the mitts.

The Riggers and Rock renew acquaintances tomorrow night at the ACC (5:30 p.m., Ch. 30).

Rock coach Terry Sanderson agreed the game promises to be physical but wouldn't hazard a guess on whether it'll turn into another fight-filled affair.

"You know, fights happen," said Sanderson, whose team tops the NLL's East Division with an 8-3 record. "Sometimes it's out of frustration. Who's to predict? We like to think we can play whatever type of game our opponent wants to play. But, I don't think anybody predicted or thought there was going to be that many scraps the last time we played so, who knows. If it happens, it happens. It's fierce competition out there."

The Roughnecks are a tough team but with Andy Ogilvie and Matt Green sidelined with injuries and Scott Forbes released last month, they are without a proven heavyweight.

Toronto has a couple, notably Tim O'Brien and Dan Ladouceur, who both fought during the late melee Feb. 12 and are expected to dress tomorrow night.

Calgary signed renowned tough guy Chris Kinnear to the practice roster last week and Riggers GM Dave Bremner said that was done to give the team added toughness for when they faced teams like Toronto.

However, Roughnecks head coach Chris Hall said he sees no need to dress Kinnear for tomorrow's tilt.

"I kind of like sticking to playing lacrosse," said Hall, whose team is 8-4 and tops the West Division. "We've got a good lacrosse team that's big and strong and capable of taking care of itself. I don't really see any positive nature in having to dress Chris right now."

While McNish has played against the Rock only once in his short career, he knows the history between the teams suggest anything is possible when they meet on the carpet.

"You never know when we play Toronto," said McNish, who took on O'Brien Feb. 12 for his first NLL scrap and faired well. "There's no love lost between the two teams, that's for sure. Anything can happen. But right now, we need the win and so do they, that's the most important thing."

The two clubs wind up their season series April 17 at the 'Dome in the Roughnecks' final game of the regular season.


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