Pumped-up Riggers chew up Titans in Big Apple

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

Turns out an early start was all it took to wake up the Calgary Roughnecks.

Dane Dobbie and Kaleb Toth each notched a hat-trick and Josh Sanderson chipped in with a goal and five assists as the Riggers snapped a two-game slide yesterday with a 12-10 victory over the host New York Titans in a matinee at storied Madison Square Garden.

"We put it on ourselves as offensive players that we needed to be better, and we did that," said Toth, who also put up three assists.

"We moved the ball around the floor, and we got our goals when we needed them. It feels a lot better than losing, I'll tell you that."

The Roughnecks arrived at the arena almost two hours before the clocks in Times Square struck noon -- a particularly early start for players who live on the Pacific Coast -- but showed no signs of sleepiness.

In fact, if not for the heroics of Titans netminder Matt Vinc, the final score might've been alarming.

The Riggers, who improved to 6-2 and ensured they'll stay atop the West Division standings heading into the all-star break, outshot the Titans 60-43.

"(Vinc) stood on his head," Sanderson said. "We knew if we kept our foot on the pedal, they were eventually going to go in. He can't stop all of those, but he still played really good.

"If it wasn't for him, we would've won by a lot more."

Tracey Kelusky had a goal and three helpers for the Riggers, while Jeff Moleski, Scott Ranger, Jeff Shattler and Scott Carnegie -- with his first of the season and second career NLL marker -- also lit the lamp.

With Titans scoring ace Casey Powell out of the lineup for the second consecutive outing, Brendan Mundorf picked up the slack for the New Yorkers, scoring three times and adding two assists.

Mike McLennan and Jordan Hall each potted a pair for the Titans, while Ryan Boyle, Pat Maddalena and Jamie Rooney had singles.

It was a frustrating opening half for the Roughnecks, but they weren't going to let a hot goalie spoil their first visit to the Big Apple.

With Vinc standing his ground, the Titans built a 5-3 cushion in the second quarter before Dobbie crashed the net and tucked a nifty shot over his left shoulder.

Ranger fired a bullet past Vinc from the high slot less than two minutes later, and the Titans netminder was probably still catching his breath when Toth bulged the twine from the top of the crease to give the Riggers their first lead.

Despite a 39-20 discrepancy on the shot clock, the two teams were knotted at 6-6 at halftime.

But Roughnecks stopper Matt King slammed the door for the entire third quarter as the visitors took control with a five-goal run.

The Titans scored three times in as many minutes to close the gap in the middle of the fourth quarter, but the Roughnecks weren't about to let another victory slip away after gassing late leads in back-to-back one-goal losses.

Kelusky scored with 5:25 to go to quash any hopes of a comeback.

"When we came to the rink, we knew we needed the two points," Dobbie said. "We came in with that swagger and we had a killer instinct."


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