Defenders rest easy

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:07 AM ET

After two dismal defeats, the Calgary Roughnecks defence was beaten and bruised both physically and mentally.

The group allowed 34 goals-against in back-to-back losses -- most recently a 16-10 defeat in Toronto Friday -- but regrouped to effectively shut down a potent Arizona Sting attack in a 17-10 win yesterday.

Roughnecks sophomore Brad MacDonald said the defence made it a personal mission to step up its play.

"After kind of (bleeping) the bed against Toronto, we played a lot better today," said MacDonald, who scored a goal and also had a first-quarter fight with former Rigger Chris Panos.

"We focused in practice (Saturday) on talking more out there and it worked. We were 100 times better by communicating. Toronto scored a lot using off-ball cutters and we were getting burned all the time. That didn't happen today because of way better communication."

Injuries have plagued Calgary's defence this season. Starters Andy Ogilvie and Devan Wray are out with season-ending knee injuries and rookie Ryan McNish hurt his knee in Friday's loss.

Jesse Phillips, who had been out for two games, returned yesterday.

A big part of yesterday's victory was the play of the Riggers' transition game, allowing defenders to move the ball up the floor for quality scoring chances.

Calgary product Andrew Biers, who had two goals off the transition in the first quarter, said Calgary was aware it needed a better showing from the backend to put some wins on the board.

"Everyone would admit we played poorly the last two games," Biers said. "We ran the game we're capable of, played good defence and moved the ball great on transition."


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