Roughnecks beat Mammoth

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

After surviving a storm, the Calgary Roughnecks gathered at centre floor and saluted the Saddledome faithful of 12,321.

It could be the final time the National Lacrosse League team played at home this season, but it’s now up to the Riggers if they return.

The Riggers erased a four-goal halftime deficit and beat the Colorado Mammoth 12-11 Saturday night to clinch their eighth straight post-season appearance.

With the victory, the Roughnecks (8-6) are a game back of the Edmonton Rush (9-5) with a meeting next Friday at Rexall Place that will decide the season series.

Wins in both that game and the following week at Colorado would give the Riggers second place in the West Division.

“Our fate is in our hands but we don’t know if we get a playoff game,” said captain Tracey Kelusky, who returned after missing three games with concussion-like symptoms.

“We know what we have to do. We have a big test next weekend in Edmonton. This could be our last one so we wanted to salute our fans. They’ve been phenomenal.”

The first-place Washington Stealth (10-4) clinched a home playoff game by beating the Orlando Titans 17-7 Saturday night in Florida.

With both Kaleb Toth and Kelusky back after missing three games each due to injury, the Riggers offence got back on track.

Kelusky had a pair of goals and three helpers while Toth (knee) had a goal and four assists as a balance returned to the offence.

Scott Ranger and Josh Sanderson had hat-tricks, while Dane Dobbie had a pair of goals and Jeff Shattler added a shorthanded marker for the Riggers.

The Riggers came out hot and scored the first two goals, but then the Mammoth capitalized on a handful of Calgary penalties to take a 5-2 lead.

Although the Riggers are the least-penalized team in the NLL, they lost their cool a bit early as Toth took a roughing call after chasing Mammoth forward Brian Langtry onto the bench.

“One of their guys stuck me in the face off the bench,” Toth said. “Langtry speared me in the throat. That was a cheap play. He knows he’s better than that.

“Of course, he’s not going to step on the floor because he’s a coward. I punched him in the face and called him on. That’s what I got a penalty for.

“We got off our game a bit. They were trying to push our buttons. They will fight but it takes a lot. They like to slash and stick us and it can get frustrating.”

It got worse as defender Jeff Moleski took on Mammoth defender Ryan McFayden in a fight and Moleski was booted for taking an instigator penalty.

The Mammoth took a 7-3 lead into halftime before the Riggers came out on fire by outscoring the visitors 5-1 in the third quarter.

It was tense in the locker-room at halftime, but the Riggers regrouped.

“We came in and guys were hanging their heads,” said Ranger. “(Assistant coach) Curt Malawsky came in and he was fired up. He was ripping his coat off and he was real intense.

“We built off that that. If we bring intensity, we are a pretty tough team to beat.

“Curt was holding the guys accountable. Hopefully we answered the bell enough.”

Goalie Mike Poulin came in during the second quarter when it was 5-2 to replace starter Matt King, who didn’t play terribly in making 11 saves on 16 shots.

Poulin picked up the win in relief.

Jed Prossner led the way for the Mammoth, scoring four goals, while Jamie Shewchuk had a hat-trick and Derek Malawsky and Langtry each had a pair of goals.


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