Starter feeds off Big Apple victory

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

The late February trip to New York was the highlight of the Calgary Roughnecks season in more ways than one.

The National Lacrosse League team came away with an important 12-10 win at Madison Square Garden, one of the world's most famous buildings.

A handful of players stayed and made it a partially paid mid-season vacation in the Big Apple.

But the afternoon contest against the New York Titans was also the point where Matt King took over in goal for the Riggers. He hasn't looked back since.

"It was the first time this season the coaches chose to put me in net," said King, who has a remarkable .863 save percentage in two post-season games.

"The first start I had was when Pat (Campbell) was sick. That made it significant for me. When you are put in for an emergency, it's a little different.

"Even though the situation isn't different, the motivation the coaches have plays a bit in your mind. It made it important for me to play well in that game."

King got the win in that outing in what turned out to be an important victory.

It ended a two-game losing skid for the Riggers and started a three-game winning streak.

It also proved to them they could compete with the best in the East Division.

"It wasn't really a turning point because we were doing well, but we found out this team is for real and we can make a serious run this year," said Riggers defender Andrew McBride.

"Kinger made some huge saves in that game. I'm not sure if it was that game where he started to believe in himself a bit more, but it was the game he proved to us he could backstop up and go on a run."

King won't always be able to recount the details of playing in MSG, but he won't soon forget the experience.

"It was such a different atmosphere playing there," King said. "It was wild.

"Every other arena, you enter through the basement and are at floor level. In that one, you go in and take an elevator up.

"You go through hallways and there are photos all over the walls of musicians and previous teams who played there. It was pretty cool."


Photos