Knuckle down

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:37 AM ET

Someone call Sylvester Stallone and tell him he has next year's contestants for The Contender.

With the Calgary Roughnecks running away with their regular-season finale yesterday, the defending National Lacrosse League champs came out of the corner, not only with a 20-12 win against the Toronto Rock, but with some knockout punches, too.

A six-goal advantage with less than five minutes remaining in the third sparked a melee that ultimately sent eight players to the box, including both goaltenders.

Starting the second half for the Roughnecks, goaltender Andrew Leyshon ran the length of the floor to come to the aid of teammate Jesse Phillips.

And, in the process, he went toe-to-toe with Rock backstopper Bob Watson.

Leyshon was disappointed he and Watson were ejected for the fight.

"I kind of wanted to get some more minutes because I don't really get that many backing up (Curtis Palidwor)," Leyshon said.

"Once the helmets came off, I knew we were going."

Leyshon was given a two-minute leaving-the- crease violation, a five-minute major for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct for his actions.

"It kind of tires you out once you get there with all that equipment on," he said. "You can't really see what you're doing, so you're just kind of throwing 'em, hoping you don't get hit with any of them.

"With all that gear on, you don't know if you're getting hit with a fist or a shoulder pad."

First on the fight card were forwards Kyle Goundry of the Riggers and the Rock's Jim Quinlan.

The tilt sparked subsequent battles, including Phillips and former league MVP Jim Veltman of the Rock.

After some dancing around, the two finally engaged, with Phillips landing some hard shots, which forced Watson to grab Phillips in an attempt to protect the Rock superstar.

A bloodied Phillips said he was glad to get some help from his goalkeeeper.

"I was so tired, I couldn't even lift my arms -- then Leyshon came down," said Phillips. "Thank God, too. I was waiting for him. I was wondering what took him so long to get down there."

Toronto coach Terry Sanderson said he was disgusted with Phillips.

"It's a shame you take a team like Calgary and then you have a classless guy like Jesse Phillips, who goes after a superstar in this league," said Sanderson.

"We have so much respect for Calgary and then Phillips pulls that move. Guys like that hurt this game for doing that. That was terrible."

Rock tough guy Tim O'Brien and Jeff Moleski squared off in a battle of heavyweights near the end of the frame.


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