Pair of hot hands

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

Double trouble.

Deadly duo.

Terrible twosome.

Those are all apt cliches for red-hot Calgary Roughnecks forwards Tracey Kelusky and Lewis Ratcliff, who give the San Jose Stealth two big reasons to be worried tomorrow night.

The 7-5 Riggers host the 5-5 Stealth in National Lacrosse League action at the 'Dome (7:30 p.m.), with Kelusky and Ratcliff currently tearing up the league's scoring charts.

The pair have combined for 27 points in Calgary's last two games: A 14-13 OT loss in San Jose two weeks ago and a 11-9 win in Toronto Saturday.

"I think they've been giants lately," said Calgary head coach Chris Hall. "Lewis has been very consistent and I think he's probably one of the most under-rated players in the league in terms of superstardom.

"Lewis wants to be the best in the league and works hard to be the best in the league.

"Tracey was struggling a little bit early with his shot but it seems to be really coming on. He had just a phenomenal game in Toronto. They've both been just excellent for us lately."

Calgary plays its last four games of the regular season against West teams, beginning with San Jose tomorrow, and Kelusky's resurgence coupled with the Ratcliff's steady play is not a welcome sight to the club's division rivals.

"They're peaking at the right time," said Hall. "Really, the whole offence is playing very well but Tracey and Lewis have been superb for us."

Ratcliff is sixth in league scoring with 68 points (29g, 39a) in 12 games while Kelusky is tied for sixth in goals with 28.

After a slow start to the season, Kelusky has kicked it into high gear with two back-to-back five-goal games and has regained his form of a year ago when he finished third in the league with 45 goals, only three behind Rochester's John Grant Jr.

The turning point came three games ago when Kelusky was held to one goal in a 16-9 drubbing of Edmonton and promised to break out the next night against San Jose. He made good with five tallies.

"As a goal-scorer, you get frustrated when you don't get chances," said Kelusky. "I was getting chances but I just needed to bear down and make good on them. I'm fortunate my outside shot is working well right now and hopefully it will continue this weekend and to the end of the season."

Kelusky was quick to praise the 24-year-old Ratcliff, who led Calgary in scoring last season.

"It's not like I didn't like playing with Lewis before but I'm really starting to enjoy playing with him even more now," said Kelusky. "He's developing into a great player. He's really starting to see the floor a lot better with more experience, now. He's doing a lot of the little things right, like dragging his man, finding the open man quick in the passing lanes. Right now, it's just a pleasure to play with him."

QUICK STICKS: Calgary D Andy Ogilvie will miss the game due to family commitments but D Taylor Wray will return after missing two games due to his job as the assistant men's coach at Queen's University of Charlotte in North Carolina.


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