What a choke!

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:52 AM ET

The Calgary Roughnecks' meltdown continues.

The Riggers suffered one of the most painful defeats in franchise history last night, giving up the winning goal to the Edmonton Rush with just 0.1 seconds left in a 12-11 setback before 12,025 fans at the 'Dome.

It was the first franchise victory for the 1-6 Rush.

After Roughnecks forward Kyle Goundrey brought the crowd to its feet by tying the game with 9.7 seconds left off a giveaway by Rush goalie Pat Campbell, disaster struck Calgary on the next faceoff.

Edmonton's Cam Bergman picked up a loose ball and ran in for a shot on Calgary goaltender Curtis Palidwor. Palidwor made the save but the rebound was knocked into the net by Calgary defender Andrew Biers.

While the Rush celebrated, the refs reviewed the goal before confirming it went in a fraction of a second before time expired.

"I don't know if it was just reflex," said Biers, sitting alone at his stall in the locker-room on the verge of tears. "I just stuck out my stick to get the ball and it went off my stick and into the net."

The Roughnecks came into the game as a team under siege.

Owner Brad Banister ripped his team in the media this week saying they "sucked" and team captain Tracey Kelusky penned an open letter in the club's fan newsletter, essentially apologizing for the Riggers' lack of effort and poor play and promising fans would "see a different team this weekend."

Instead, it was the same old story.

The Roughnecks outshot the Rush 65-44 but the club's once vaunted offence continued its snakebitten ways.

Edmonton scored five straight to take a commanding lead midway through the fourth quarter before the Riggers forwards rattled off four late goals -- including Goundrey's -- to make a game of it.

"I thought we played all right but, I mean, I had a ton of chances myself that I didn't bury. One or two of those go in and we win," said a bloodied Kelusky, leaking from a gash on his forehead.

"We thought it was gut-check time when we were 3-3. I don't know what to say. No more excuses.

"We just made so many mistakes again and didn't put the ball in the net. I don't know ... it's very frustrating."

Campbell, the game's MVP, had a fantastic night and made some brilliant saves for the Rush. That was little consolation to Calgary coach Chris Hall, who was disgusted with the play of his offence -- again.

"There's only one thing you can look at after that game," said Hall.

"We outshoot them 65-42 and lose by a goal. It's unacceptable. Simple as that.

"I thought we did have a good effort tonight and we did play with heart and desire. The ball just won't go in the net.

"You're as good as your last performance, quite frankly," he continued. "And I haven't seen too much super talent, really. I've seen mediocrity. Superstars are superstars and you have to do that game-in and game-out. Our shooting percentage is tragic, quite frankly, tragic.

"We had a gajillion chances tonight, naked chances, and we couldn't put the ball in the net."

Lewis Ratcliff had a hat-trick for Calgary while Kelusky scored a pair. Andrew Biers, Grant Hamilton, Taylor Wray, Jason Wulder and Kevin Dostie also scored for the Roughnecks.

Kelusky's second goal of the game in the second quarter was the team's first short-handed marker of the season.

Randy Daly led Edmonton with three goals and two assists.

The Roughnecks don't have long to lick their wounds. They travel to Arizona to take on the 3-2 Sting tonight at 7:30 p.m.

- - -

EDMONTON RUSH: 12

CALGARY ROUGHNECKS: 11


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