Young goalie puts the ice on Riggers' shooters

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:23 PM ET

What do you get when you combine a struggling offence with a hot opposing goaltender?

I'll give you a hint: Not a victory.

The Calgary Roughnecks narrowly avoided tying a franchise low for goals scored in a game last night as young 24-year-old Minnesota Swarm goalie Nick Patterson made 47 saves to lead his team to a 12-8 win in National Lacrosse League action at the 'Dome.

For the second game in a row, Calgary's forwards weren't able to create much in the offensive zone -- especially in the first half -- and when they did get chances, were stoned by Patterson. Calgary outshot Minnesota 55-42.

"It'll be interesting (to look at the tape) and see how much of it was Nick and how much of it was us or whether it was a combination," said Roughnecks coach Chris Hall. "Fifty-five shots and eight goals -- not much more to say aside from the fact we still took too many penalties."

Minnesota improved to 2-1 with the victory while the Roughnecks (1-1) fell to .500.

Riggers forward Kaleb Toth -- who scored one goal but had five helpers to reach the 200-career assist plateau -- split the credit for the victory between Patterson's great play and Calgary's poor offensive showing.

"I think it's about 50-50," said a clearly-frustrated Toth. "We had a lot of shots and we should have beared down a little more but you have to give him credit. He played really well."

Patterson's play last night was like a bad case of deja vu for the Roughnecks.

Almost three years ago to the day on Jan. 25, 2003, a 21-year-old Patterson got his first NLL start as member of the Vancouver Ravens and backstopped the Blackbirds to a 13-10 win by making 40 saves.

Despite mounting a hard press in the fourth quarter last night, Patterson -- who got some help from a few timely posts -- made some huge saves, including a breakaway by Tracey Kelusky and a partial break by Toth.

"I came in here off a win last weekend and felt confident and things went great," said Patterson, who improved to 2-0. "I knew a lot of their shooters well and I also studied them and got to know their tendencies. And with our team defence tonight, it made my job easy."

Calgary plays the expansion Edmonton Rush tonight at Rexall Place. The Riggers beat the Rush 11-9 at the 'Dome Jan. 13 to open their season.

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MINNESOTA SWARM: 12

CALGARY ROUGHNECKS: 8


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