Swarm get roughed up

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:05 AM ET

The Minnesota Swarm goalie turned into St. Nick with a gift for Kaleb Toth and, just like that, the Calgary Roughnecks are in the playoffs.

Midway through the fourth quarter of a tight, close-checking National Lacrosse League outing last night in St. Paul, Minn., Nick Patterson mistimed jumping on a loose ball in the slot.

Toth scooped it up instead, and the Roughnecks veteran spun around to fire into an open net for the visitors' first lead.

That opened the floodgates, and the Riggers poured it on for a 13-10 victory.

"I saw him coming and just got there to jump around him," said Toth, who finished with two goals and five assists to pace the Roughnecks (9-3).

"That was probably the most nervous I've been on a shot. I didn't want to miss the open net. I had a couple of posts earlier, so I really felt due for one."

Goalie Matt King started his fifth straight game for Calgary and managed to finish this one. He was yanked Friday in a loss at home to the Toronto Rock, but King was strong in making 33 saves last night.

The netminder was also key in transition, as he picked up four assists by starting fast breaks with pinpoint passes.

Two defenders -- Mike Carnegie and Devan Wray -- scored their first goals of the season as the Riggers got some much needed offence from the back end.

"I thought our defence and goaltending was the difference," Toth said. "They played real well and shut the door to allow us to have a chance at the end."

The home side took a 3-2 lead after the first quarter, led 6-5 at halftime and 8-7 after three periods, but the Riggers took control with five straight goals to start the fourth quarter.

Veteran Curt Malawsky had two fourth-quarter goals, while Scott Ranger also scored in the final frame as the Riggers went on a 6-0 run to take control.

With the San Jose Stealth (4-8) losing to the Portland LumberJax yesterday, the Roughnecks are assured of a playoff spot.

They instead have their sights on the division title and the best record in the NLL, which would give them home-floor advantage throughout the three playoff rounds.

"We feel privileged to make the playoffs in this league," Toth said.

"We know it's hard.

"But we want games at home so we can take advantage. We want to bring a good gate for our owners to reward them."

Sophomore phenom Dane Dobbie scored four times last night, upping his team lead to 34 on the season.

Captain Tracey Kelusky and leading scorer Josh Sanderson also tallied for the Roughnecks.

The Riggers got a scare late as Swarm forward Ryan Sharp crosschecked Ranger into the boards. The righty had to be helped off after going down hard and losing his helmet.

Aaron Wilson paced the Swarm (5-7) with a hat-trick and four assists, while Kevin Buchanan also scored three times.


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