Scoring curse falls on Rigger

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

Kaleb Toth got a chuckle out of the idea that someone, somewhere, must be holding a small voodoo doll wearing a No. 9 Calgary Roughnecks jersey, pins sticking out from everywhere.

The Calgary native has been cursed in recent weeks, it seems, collecting only three goals in four National Lacrosse League games.

Toth's been shut out in the last two tilts, notching only one assist. That's well off his career average of nearly two goals and 3.96 points per contest.

Right about now, Toth is ready to pull out his wallet and try to buy a goal.

"It sticks in the back of your head," said the 27-year-old Toth, whose club hosts the Arizona Sting tomorrow night (7:30 p.m.) at the 'Dome. "Every time I take a shot, I'm thinking 'great, another chance to blow.' It is frustrating."

While Toth has been ice cold around the net, teammates Lewis Ratcliff and Tracey Kelusky -- Calgary's Trio Grande -- have combined for 40 points in three games as Calgary has won two straight and five of its last six to sit tied atop the West Division.

Winning has made the drought sting much less, said Toth.

"As upset as I've been about my play, we have been winning and that's the biggest thing," said Toth, who has 17 goals this season and is one pace for 21, far below the 38 he scored last season. "Everybody says it doesn't matter if you get points as long as you win and that's the truth. But, it is frustrating not to contribute more."

Toth's drought hasn't been for a lack of chances. In fact, Calgary head coach Chris Hall has applauded Toth's recent play. The righty has 20 shots in the past two games and has set solid picks to open up the floor for players like Ratcliff and Kelusky. Hall said Toth's "doing all those little things right."

Kind of sounds like a buddy of Toth's who was having similar problems this season: Flames forward Jarome Iginla.

"Jarome has been through this and there are lots of other great athletes and scorers who have gone through this," said Toth of his struggles. "It's just something you keep battling through. It can't last forever."

Toth's aggressive play and hard drives to the net in the last two games have drawn a handful of penalties which Calgary's resurgent powerplay has capitalized on.

"Goal-scorers have to go to the net," said Toth. "It's something I have to do and create opportunities not only for me but for the other guys. If I can go to the net hard and and draw a penalty, then great. Our powerplay has been really clicking and we seem to score goals at will."


Videos

Photos