The fortunes of Calgary Roughnecks forward Kaleb Toth have mirrored those of his team in recent weeks. The Riggers are 1-2 in their last three games after falling 14-9 to the Buffalo Bandits last Saturday night at the 'Dome.
In that loss, Toth was held without a goal for the first time all season. Over the course of the last three games, he's found the twine only three times.
To put that into context, Toth had scored 18 goals in the previous five games, including a season-high five markers in a win over San Jose March 18.
It's been a frustrating few weeks for the Roughnecks assistant captain, whose team wraps up the NLL regular season tomorrow against the Toronto Rock (2 p.m., 'Dome).
A win against the Rock would clinch first in the West for Calgary. The Riggers could also clinch if Anaheim won either of two games against Arizona this weekend. Anaheim lost 14-12 last night. Those two teams play again tonight.
"You start trying harder to get back on track and you push so hard and try so hard that everything starts falling apart," said Toth. "You really start squeezing your stick and it's frustrating."
Despite his recent dry spell, Toth has 36 goals on the season, only two shy of his career high, which he scored back in the Roughnecks' inaugural season in 2001-02.
Even more impressive is his .267 shooting percentage, second best among the league's top-20 scorers. Philadelphia's Jeff Ratcliffe, at .295, is tops.
"I think it was my best season until the last few games," said Toth, who sits 16th in the NLL points race with 66. "I've gone back to my old ways where I'm trying to power it instead of place it and it's obviously not working.
"You ask any offensive player and they all like shooting the ball," he explained. "And I'm one of them. But you have to try and pick your shots better, make quality shots. You don't just shoot for the sake of shooting."
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WEDDING BELLS: Calgary Roughnecks captain Tracey Kelusky and longtime girlfriend Emily Abrahamson will fly to Las Vegas Monday where they'll tie the knot Wednesday at the Treasure Island Hotel Casino.
They'll fly back Thursday in time for Kelusky to play, if the Roughnecks have a playoff game Friday, or to practise, if the team clinches the West Division and secures a first-round playoff bye.
The couple had originally planned to get married this fall in Connecticut, where Abrahamson hails and where the pair met when they attended the University of Hartford.
However, they decided to move the date up. Forty guests will attend the wedding, including Roughnecks majority owner Brad Banister and teammates Andy Ogilvie and Curtis Palidwor.
Rochester Knighthawks star John Grant Jr. will serve as the best man.
Given the importance of tomorrow's big game against the Toronto Rock, Kelusky said he hasn't had a chance to be too nervous about his nuptials.
"That's what's great about Em," said Kelusky. "She knows I'm not really thinking about Wednesday until Sunday's done. That's just me.
"She asked me if I'm nervous and I said 'not too badly.' The reason being
I have a game on Sunday and I have to worry about that first."