Kelusky night all Ranger for Riggers

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:33 AM ET

CALGARY - Everyone was looking at 17. Turned out 71 was the right number.

Scott Ranger scored five times in what was Tracey Kelusky night at the Saddledome, as the Calgary Roughnecks got the 2011 National Lacrosse League season off on the right foot with a 10-9 victory Saturday over the Buffalo Bandits.

Kelusky managed a goal and two assists for the visiting Bandits, but the revamped Riggers look like they will be just fine without their long-time former captain.

Before balldrop, the Riggers had a special ceremony for Kelusky. Owner Brad Banister, who traded the 35-year-old to Buffalo this off-season, presented Kelusky a statue and Bret (Hitman) Hart sent him a video message.

As sentimental as they tried to be, the Riggers didn’'t show much love towards Kelusky on the floor.

He took a pounding from former teammates, including new Riggers captain Andrew McBride.

The home team jumped out to an early lead thanks to Ranger and rookie Curtis Dickson’'s two goals and held off a furious late attack in front of 9,590 spectators at the Saddledome.

Ranger was on fire during the second quarter, scoring four straight times, all a bit differently. He tucked one in from behind the net, found the top corner on a breakaway and converted a couple times from the slot. On a powerplay, he showed off the sharp-shooter ability by hesitating with the ball before firing top corner.

In scoring five goals, he equalled a career high set way back in 2007 against the now-defunct Arizona Sting.

Dickson didn’'t take long to show he can play in this league. The rookie, who is wearing Kelusky’'s old No. 17, took just 16 seconds to take the ball, cut through the middle and go airborne for a top-corner blast.

Nolan Heavenor, Kaleb Toth and Geoff Snider also scored for the Roughnecks, who travel to Everett, Wash., to face the Washington Stealth Sunday night.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/ianbusby57


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