'Necks quash Sting rally

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:13 PM ET

Of course you've heard that sports cliche about playing a full 60 minutes.

You hear it often enough from professional athletes these days. Still, somehow, the Calgary Roughnecks forgot it last night.

The Riggers cruised to an 8-3 halftime lead over the Arizona Sting at the 'Dome but had to hold off a determined second-half rally to pull out a 14-12 victory in National Lacrosse League action.

The Sting outscored the Riggers 9-6 in the final two quarters -- including three goals in the final two-and-a-half minutes -- to make a game of it late and put a scare into the crowd of 12,173.

"We let down a little bit and they're too good of a team to let down on like that," said Calgary forward Lewis Ratcliff, the star of the game with five goals and four assists.

"We have to play a full game and go hard the whole time, not let up, to win in this league. That was a good reminder."

The Sting pressed until the bitter end, taking advantage of an undisciplined and ill-timed five-minute major for checking from behind on Calgary's Ryan McNish to score twice and draw within one with just under a minute to play.

Ratcliff got the ball on the next possession and ran across the floor to his opposite side before firing a shot far side over Arizona goalie Rob Blasdell's shoulder with 23.8 seconds left to play to ice it for the Riggers.

Calgary defender Jeff Moleski, who had his best game offensively in a Riggers uniform with three points, was at a loss for why the 'Necks let the Sting back into the game.

"I don't know why. It was weird, we just let up," said Moleski, who tallied only his second and third goals of the season.

"They made good on some powerplays they had and stayed in it. If you fall asleep like that, (teams) can get you."

The Riggers control their own playoff fate and can clinch the West Division title if they win their final two games of the regular season next weekend against the 8-6 Colorado Mammoth in a home-and-home series.

Calgary is tied atop the West at 9-5 with the expansion Portland Lumberjax but own the tiebreaker after beating the Jax earlier in the season.

Calgary has now won five of its last six while Arizona has lost of five of six and is in danger of missing the post-season party after making it to the championship game last year.

Calgary forward Jason Wulder said it's nice to be in the driver's seat.

"This team is really peaking right now going into the playoffs which is a good thing," he said.

The Sting were without all-star forward Craig Conn, who was serving a one-game league suspension.

- - -

CALGARY ROUGHNECKS: 14

ARIZONA STING: 12


Videos

Photos