Riggers hit the gusher

WES GILBERTSON

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

Welcome back, boys.

Former Calgary Roughnecks netminders Curtis Palidwor and Matt King -- the current goaltending tandem for the Edmonton Rush -- got a rude welcome in their latest return to the Stampede City last night, as the Riggers offence awoke from a deep slumber and romped to an 18-7 victory at the 'Dome.

"It's good to get the win, but I think it's how we got the win," said Roughnecks captain Tracey Kelusky. "We played focused, we played intelligent ... we played all year by working hard, but hard work and determination can only get you so far, hence the 4-9 record.

"We obviously needed to change something up, and we started playing with intelligence. We played really composed, played with smarts, and that was the difference."

The Roughnecks' offensive woes have left head coach Troy Cordingley and his assistants scratching their heads all season. Until last night.

Forward Kaleb Toth had four goals and five assists as the Riggers scored a season-high 18 goals in a game.

After a sluggish start to the game -- yeah, another one -- the team finally showed flashes of the offensive brilliance everybody has been waiting for.

With the Riggers trailing 4-2 and in need of a lift, Kelusky set off the firestorm, taking a picture-perfect cross-crease feed from Kelly Hall and finding the back of the net, finishing a gorgeous tic-tac-toe passing play that started with Toth.

From there on, head coach Troy Cordingley had plenty to smile about.

Toth tied the game just 19 seconds later when he bolted around the Rush defence and deked out Palidwor, opening the floodgates.

After converting on a breakaway to give the Riggers their ninth of the game -- and seventh in 11 minutes -- midway through the second quarter, Jeff Shattler slammed into the glass in a Shean Donovan-esque celebration and Palidwor headed for a seat on the bench.

The Roughnecks took a 10-6 lead to the locker-room at halftime. After a scoreless third quarter, the Riggers offence came back for more in the fourth, scoring eight unanswered goals.

It was only the third time all season Calgary has outscored their opposition in the final frame.

"Our offence played unbelievable in the fourth quarter. Everyone on our offence, they pitched in," Shattler said.

With the victory, the Roughnecks pull even with the Rush and Portland LumberJax at five wins apiece. The three squads are battling for the final two playoff spots in the West Division.

Shattler had three goals and three assists and Curt Malawsky had a hat-trick for the Roughnecks, who didn't give the 800 Rush fans who hit up Edmonton owner Bruce Urban for free tickets much to cheer about.

The rest of the 12,451 fans at the Saddledome had reason to scream and holler, as Kelusky, Devan Wray and Nolan Heavenor added a pair each.

Steve Dietrich, making his first start since being sidelined with a concussion, made 28 stops for the Roughnecks.

Next up, the Riggers host the Toronto Rock Saturday.

RECORD NIGHT FOR NOOCH

Philadelphia Wings forward Athan Iannucci stormed into the NLL record books last night, scoring a pair of third-quarter goals to erase the legendary Gary Gait's single-season goal-scoring mark in a 15-14 OT loss to the Minnesota Swarm. Iannucci completed his hat-trick in the final frame. He now has 63 goals -- one more than Gait scored in 2003 -- and still has two games to go this season.


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