Goalie glutton

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

There's a reason old adages stay around long enough to become old.

Quite simply, by definition, there's truth to them.

Take, for example, 'Be careful what you wish for.'

Two weeks ago, the Calgary Roughnecks dealt a first-round pick to the Buffalo Bandits for young goalie Ryan Avery.

Riggers GM Kurt Silcott said the deal was made because the club felt current backup Andrew Leyshon wasn't pushing starter Curtis Palidwor hard enough. There wasn't enough fire between the pipes.

By bringing in Avery, the team now had a trio of goalies pushing for the two roster spots available in each game. Competition was good, went the theory, and it would force the cream to rise to the top.

Well, it did just that and ratcheted up the team's goalie controversy in the process.

Calgary started Palidwor in Saturday night's 15-14 overtime victory against the Colorado Mammoth at the 'Dome but pulled him in the second quarter after he allowed seven goals on 26 shots.

Palidwor wasn't playing poorly, by any means, but the move was made more to buy a breather after Colorado had scored two goals 15 seconds apart.

NLL coaches often do that to settle down the team and give the starting goalie a moment to refocus before putting him right back in.

However, Leyshon got hot, made some quick saves and was left in to finish the game.

The two clubs traded goals back and forth in the second half and Colorado tied the game when former Rigger Chris Gill beat Leyshon with only 5.6 seconds left forcing extra time.

NLL sudden-death overtimes usually don't last long. However, Leyshon and his Mammoth counterpart, Gee Nash, stood on their heads in OT. Leyshon, especially, made a series of unbelievable stops before Calgary's Lewis Ratcliff beat Nash to end the marathon 8:11 in.

In what was Calgary's best home game of the season, there was no shortage of game stars. Ratcliff had a pair including the winner while veteran Jason Wulder scored four goals. Kaleb Toth, battling the flu, tossed in two goals and six points. Defender Grant Hamilton was all over the floor and scored twice while fellow rearguard Andy Ogilvie was a monster on the loose balls, especially in OT.

That said, the players gave the credit for the win to Leyshon.

And Leyshon admitted after the game he took the acquisition of Avery for what it was meant to do -- light a fire under him.

So, the Roughnecks brain trust now finds itself in an enviable -- albeit tough -- position with its netminders.

Palidwor has been great this season and went into Saturday third in the league with a 9.99 GAA. Leyshon took the hint from management and made a statement with his play, earning the right to start the next game.

As for Avery. Well, Silcott gave a first-round pick and you can't do that for a guy who will never dress.

Calgary plays twice on the road next weekend. Who do the Roughnecks start: Palidwor or Leyshon? Whoever doesn't has to be the backup, right? What about Avery?

Be careful what you wish for -- you just might get it.


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