Kelusky holds sizzling upper hand

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

Calgary Roughnecks head coach Chris Hall summed up his team's special teams play yesterday in one word: Fantastic.

The Riggers went 4-of-6 on the powerplay and allowed Toronto only three goals on nine chances in a 11-9 victory over the Rock.

"The special teams were fantastic," said Hall. "We've been struggling (on the powerplay) at times this season. I've always known it's been there. On the powerplay, we shot the ball better from the outside and the penalty kill was excellent and (goalie Curtis Palidwor) made the big saves when he had to."

Calgary's powerplay was an unimpressive eighth in the league going into yesterday's game at 39.38%. Last season, it was second clicking just over 50% of the time.

Captain Tracey Kelusky had the hot stick yesterday, scoring three goals from the point and setting up the fourth, all coming in the first half.

"My shot was working well," said Kelusky, who now has nine goals in the last two games. "But it was working because Kaleb (Toth) and Lewis (Ratcliff) were doing their jobs.

"They tried to adapt to what we were doing (on the powerplay) but everyone kept doing their jobs and we kept being successful."

Even more impressive than the man-up was the man-down, which kept Toronto's potent powerplay in check.

In the second half, Calgary limited the Rock to one goal on four powerplay chances, killing off three straight over the last 20 minutes.

Calgary's penalty-kill -- ranked third in the league -- has been impressive all season and defender Rob Kirkby said the key to success yesterday was simple.

"We were talking a little more," said Kirkby. "Communication on defence is first and foremost and even though it's kind of a loud building, we were able to talk to each other and back up each other and give help when help was needed.

"We were more patient today and we weren't running around."


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