Riggers rebound

DARREN FRIESEN, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Apparently just having Dennis Rodman in the building put the refs in a foul mood.

The former NBA bad boy, who was at Rexall Place last night as part of a Edmonton Rush promotional event, took in his first National Lacrosse League game.

And similar to his pro basketball playing days, Rodman, along with the 10,702 fans on hand, were witness to a penalty parade all night long.

The result of all the whistle blowing ultimately fell in favour of the Calgary Roughnecks, who beat the Rush 13-12.

With the win, the Roughnecks move to 1-1 on the season after dropping their opener Friday to the San Jose Stealth in overtime.

"I won't even go there," said Roughnecks head coach Chris Hall on the amount of penalties called last night.

"We were getting frustrated and when that happens you're not focused. You really have to dump that from your mind. We had some guys take some bad penalties in certain situations ... that can happen.

"We needed to play five on five and keep the game five on five."

The Roughnecks, who went 4-for-13 with the man advantage and killed off an impressive 10 Rush powerplays, including two 5-on-3 situations, were almost forced into OT again last night when the Rush scored right before the buzzer.

The play was called a crease violation and immediately the Riggers celebrated their first victory of the season.

"We needed that one," said Hall. "We didn't want to be 0-2 ... That was a very important win for us, even though it's very early in the season."

The victory was particularly big for Roughnecks goaltender Andrew Leyshon, who became the starter after Curtis Palidwor got picked up by New York Titans in the expansion draft.

Leyshon looked shaky to start the game, letting in eight first-half goals.

He rebounded, though, making key saves in the second half.

"It's a battle every night in this league," said Leyshon, who made 36 saves on 48 shots. "They had a lot of powerplays (in the first half) but we battled back in the second half and we did what we needed to do to win."

Calgary's three big offensive stars -- Lewis Ratcliff, Kaleb Toth and Tracey Kelusky -- were responsible for most of the ink in the the Roughnecks' side of the scoresheet last night.

Toth got two goals and assist, Kelusky was good for four points, and Ratcliff got a pair of each.

For the Rush, former Roughneck Jason Wulder had six points (2g, 4a) and Dan Stroup had three goals.

The Rush also move to 1-1 on the year after beating the Philadelphia Wings in their season opener.

"We had the chance to bury them," said Wulder, who saw his team give up the lead early in the fourth quarter when Calgary rattled off three straight goals.

"You have to give them credit, they came out in the second half and really (dug deep), took their shots and scored big goals when they needed to."


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