Tricky Riggers roll in win

TODD SAELHOF, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:14 AM ET

Never mind the Mammoth competition.

What was huge in the Calgary Roughnecks' 13-10 victory last night over their rivals from Colorado was a timely powerplay and athletic goaltending.

Goalie Matt King made 41 saves and his Riggers teammates clicked with three man-advantage goals to start the second half and break open a close contest, giving themselves the key win and breathing room atop the National Lacrosse League's West Division.

The third quarter was the difference in giving the club a 21/2-game bulge on their nearest competition in the division before 10,958 fans in attendance.

"To be honest, I told them we needed to be a little composed," said Roughnecks coach Troy Cordingley of a halftime speech which seemed to spark his charges to break open a 7-7 contest.

"I was at fault in the first quarter because I was letting everything the referees were calling and not calling get under my skin, so I was being undisciplined. So I told the guys at halftime, 'Let's forget it. Let's just play and see what happens.' And we did play."

They especially played strong on the powerplay, which has been a team trademark the last few games.

In the first 6:38 of the second half, the Roughnecks got man-advantage goals from Scott Ranger, Curt Malawsky and Dane Dobbie. Ranger's tally came with the Mammoth shorthanded two men, a situation Cordingley consided created by his team's improved work ethic early in the third quarter.

"We knew we had to pick it up -- we didn't play that well in the first half," said Ranger, who tallied two goals on the evening. "With the character on our team, we just stepped it up.

"We've got a dangerous team," continued Ranger.

"So if you give us the 5-on-4s, we're going to put the ball in the net."

At the other end, King kept what was a dangerous Mammoth attack off the board shortly after the three man-advantage markers put up by his teammates. Included were gigantic stops on a Colorado powerplay that helped preserve the three-goal cushion.

The Riggers then tallied twice more to take a commanding 12-7 lead through 45 minutes.

Ranger's second goal was a beauty, as he faked a pass out from behind the net and dove out to wrap a goal past Mammoth goalie Andrew Leyshon to put the hosts up by four goals.

"I gave a little fake to the right and he turned the shoulder and I saw some room on the right side, so I figured what the heck," Ranger said. "You see the guy cheating, so you know you want to catch him. I just got lucky before I stepped in the crease."

From there, it was all King -- and insurance from Dobbie, with his hat-trick goal in the fourth quarter.

Captain Tracey Kelusky also recorded the hat-trick with tallies in the first half that saw the Mammoth answer every time the Riggers scored. The only time the hosts took a two-goal lead in the first half was late, as Nolan Heavenor and Kaleb Toth beat Leyshon, but before the intermission, the Mammoth's leading sniper, Brian Langtry, replied with two goals of his own.

In total, Langtry had three tallies for the visitors, as did teammate Gavin Prout.

But King proved tough when it counted most for the Riggers.


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