Hogtown hammered

Calgary Roughnecks' Jesse Phillips (left) fights with Toronto Rock's Jim Veltman during second half...

Calgary Roughnecks' Jesse Phillips (left) fights with Toronto Rock's Jim Veltman during second half NLL action in Calgary Sunday, April 17, 2005. (Calgary Sun/Stuart Dryden)

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

So that's what the defending National Lacrosse League champion Calgary Roughnecks are supposed to look like.

After an up-and-down season plagued by injuries and poor outings, the Riggers saved their best for last, hammering the Toronto Rock 20-12 in a fight-filled regular-season finale at the 'Dome before a season-high crowd of 11,331.

Roughnecks captain Tracey Kelusky led Calgary with eight goals and two assists, tying his own franchise single-game goals mark.

Rigger Andrew McBride, who potted a pair, was blown away by the captain.

"Kelusky -- wow! What a leader," McBride said.

"He sparked us to this victory. It's a great way to go into the playoffs."

In typical fashion for these clubs, it was a rough-and-tumble game with four fights, including one between Calgary goalie Andrew Leyshon and his Toronto counterpart Bob Watson.

That tilt was the third consecutive fight after a stoppage in play in the third quarter.

After Watson got involved in an ongoing scrap between Toronto's Jim Veltman and Calgary's Jesse Phillips, Leyshon ran the length of the floor and grabbed Watson leading to the dustup. Both 'tenders got the boot.

After losing twice this season to the Rock by 16-10 scores at the Air Canada Centre, many Roughnecks -- including McBride -- said yesterday's game was all about pride.

"We were really determined to win this game," he said.

Trailing 5-2 after the first quarter, the Roughnecks exploded, scoring six straight to end the first half with a 10-8 lead.

The Riggers picked up where they left off in the third quarter, scoring another six unanswered to run away with the contest.

Kelusky credited his club for not quitting when the going got tough.

"We kept our composure, which was nice," said Kelusky. "We always kind of lose our composure and tonight we kept our composure and stuck with it.

"Our defence played great. Curtis got off to a slow start, so did everybody, kind of. But we found a way to get the W."

Lewis Ratcliff had a hat-trick for the Roughnecks, while Kaleb Toth and Travis Gillespie each had a pair. Ted Dowling, Brad MacDonald and Jesse Phillips rounded out the scoring.

Colin Doyle led Toronto with seven points, winning the NLL scoring title with 111 total.

Calgary, which had already locked up the West Division title, finished the year

10-6 while Toronto, which took the East Division title, ended up 12-4.

Toronto head coach Terry Sanderson was upbeat following the loss.

"Calgary had their 'A' game here," he said. "They taught us a pretty good lesson today."

Calgary will enjoy a bye week and host the winner of next weekend's West semifinal between the Arizona Sting and Colorado Mammoth at the 'Dome April 30 at 8 p.m.


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