Six-shooter Ratcliff helps sink former squad

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 4:41 PM ET

For five and a half seasons, whenever Lewis Ratcliff's name was announced for scoring a goal, there was a great ovation at the Saddledome.

On Saturday night, there was hardly a peep when he fired six shots into the netting in a 16-15 Washington Stealth victory over the Calgary Roughnecks at the Dome.

"It's a bit strange walking in," said the former Roughnecks sniper. "I like coming back. I like seeing the guys and playing against them. It's fun to score against them.

"To come back and play well is good."

Between 2003 and 2008, Ratcliff scored 210 regular-season goals for the Roughnecks, with many of those nights a hat-trick at home.

As a visitor, he scored the sock-trick.

The win moved Washington's record to 4-0 on the season after a win over the Buffalo Bandits Friday night at home.

"I'm happy with the start," Ratcliff said.

"When you see Calgary and Buffalo over one weekend, you don't think you will win them both. We're starting to believe in this team. We're playing really well."

Ratcliff was moved to Toronto midway through the 2008 season for lefty forward Josh Sanderson, who led the Riggers in scoring last season.

During this off-season, the Rock traded him back to the West Coast in another blockbuster deal, this time for star forward Colin Doyle.

Going to Everett is much better for Ratcliff, who lives in Victoria, B.C., with a young family.

Although it's a smaller centre than San Jose, Ratcliff is hoping the Stealth have a home there.

"It's great," Ratcliff said. "It's close to home for me. It's a 30-minute flight.

"My family can drive down if they want. The city is great. They are really going to take to us and start filling the building.

"Word is getting around town and everywhere you go they are talking about us."


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