'Necks coach blasts team after lopsided loss

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:03 PM ET

The game plan was simple for the Calgary Roughnecks.

Too bad their execution was awful.

The Riggers had to win their last two games of the regular season against the Colorado Mammoth and they would clinch the National Lacrosse League's West Division title.

Heck, all they had to do was split the home-and-home series to host a first-round playoff game next weekend at the Saddledome.

Instead, they tanked and lost both.

One night after one of its worst offensive outings of the season in an 11-8 loss to the Mammoth in Denver Friday, Calgary came out in a crucial game and dropped an egg, losing by an embarrassing

17-7 final in front of 11,884 at the 'Dome.

"That was, quite frankly, horrible," Calgary head coach Chris Hall said in assessing the game. "It was a terrible performance in front of our fans."

Calgary was outscored 7-2 in the third quarter that broke the game open.

The Roughnecks will now travel back to Denver to open the playoffs. The date and time is yet to be made official but it's expected the game will be played Saturday night.

Roughnecks captain Tracey Kelusky -- like many of his teammates -- sat in the dressing room looking stunned after the defeat.

"It's absolutely rotten," said Kelusky of the taste left in his mouth.

"We were terrible. We need to play a lot smarter and in control.

"Everything went wrong and they wanted it a lot more.

"They were willing to make sacrifices more than us, both physically and mentally.

"We were doing some stupid things out there and we didn't do a good job of controlling our

emotions."

Many players and the coach agreed the club shouldn't be lacking for motivation come next weekend.

"These guys are proud guys -- we're all proud," said Hall.

"And that was not a very prideful performance. I think, clearly, we should all be embarrassed by that effort. We need to try and make amends for that."

Calgary's Lewis Ratcliff had a goal and three assists in the loss, setting new season marks for both points and assists by a Roughneck.

He broke his own records of 50 assists and 86 points, finishing with 54 helpers and 91 points.

Rookie transition forward Jeremy Cheyne made his NLL debut last night for the Roughnecks in a surprise move and scored Calgary's first goal 2:29 into the first quarter. Cheyne ended the night with two markers and was one of the few bright spots for Calgary.

Last night's game was chippy on the floor and off.

Members of the Colorado organization, including president and GM Steve Govett, were ejected from the press box in the fourth quarter by security after complaints they were yelling and cheering.

Meanwhile, the expansion Portland Lumberjax continued their Cinderella run last night, beating the Minnesota Swarm 13-8 on the road to clinch the West title and home-floor throughout the divisional playoffs.

The 'Jax host the No. 4 Arizona Sting Saturday.

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COLORADO MAMMOTH: 17

CALGARY ROUGHNECKS: 7


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