Long shot a big payoff

TY PILSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

Time was winding down, the ball was in Kaleb Toth's stick and not much was expected on the shot.

With two seconds to go in the first half and Toth just past the midway point of the floor, one hundred or so feet from the net, scoring was a long shot, at best.

The best happened.

The play was whistled in, the Calgary native let fly a laser and it found the net over the right shoulder of Titans goalie Matt Vinc.

That made it 6-4 at the half for the homeside.

The Roughnecks rushed for a group hug and the 13,042 fans went nuts.

That goal turned into a pivotal marker in the game, which the Riggers won 12-10.

Late in the game, they led by just a single goal, forcing the Titans to pull their goalie as they went for the equalizer.

Instead, Calgary got two empty-netters before the Titans collected for a final, and meaningless, tally with 30 seconds to play.

Toth is no stranger to big goals.

Back in 2001, when he was playing with the Toronto Rock, Toth scored the game-winning goal with one second to play as the Rock beat the Rochester Knighthawks in the Champion's Cup. So, did last night's goal supplant it as the biggest of his career?

"Every goal I get in a big event like that is huge," said Toth, known for his outside cannon of a shot.

"It's unreal. I still can't believe it went in.

"This team came together today. (Goalie) Matt King was unreal and we squeaked out the victory."

Roughnecks coach Troy Cordingley took pause from hooting and hollering on the floor as his team carried the Champion's Cup to weigh in on the marker.

"Huge, huge," said Cordingley.

"We just told him to shoot at the net. Just brilliant. A brilliant shot.

"Kaleb has a knack for stepping up. Big player, big game and he did it."

Toth -- the longest-serving member of the team and one of six holdovers from the 2004 Roughnecks championship team -- finished the night with that marker and five helpers.

Vinc, who played brilliant making 38 saves, was still in shock about the goal after the game.

"From where I was, they set up a little bit of a screen and I was trying to look up and I think I was just a little too high.

"It's one of those ones I think I would probably save 99 times out of a hundred.

"But, it got in. I'll be thinking of that all summer."

The goal wasn't without controversy.

There was talk the clock started a little slow when the whistle blew and the refs were liberal calling in before the horn.

Vinc and the Titans took the high road, but did cast some doubt on it.

"I think it was a close call," said Vinc. "I don't know how that could have gone in in two seconds."

TY.PILSON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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