The Toronto Rock managed another miraculous comeback Saturday night by scoring with 10 seconds left to force the Calgary Roughnecks into overtime where an unlikely hero secured the victory.
Rock goaltender Matt Roik was supposed to have the night off, but just four minutes into the game Rock backup Pat Campbell, starting for the first time since April 2011, dropped the gloves with Geoff Snider in front of 7,460 screaming fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.
Campbell came to the rescue of his teammates after Snider was tossed to the floor by three Rock players and got up looking for a fight. Before Snider could grab Rob Marshall, Campbell ran out of his net and started throwing punches.
Campbell received an instigator penalty and was automatically ejected from the game.
“I figured I was the best matched to take him on,” said Campbell. “I’m glad it sparked the guys.”
Down by two goals early, the Rock followed Campbell's fight by clawing back from two goal deficits three times, the last of which came off a hat-trick goal by Garrett Billings to send the game to overtime tied 13-13.
“I thought it was over,” said Billings, who also had four assists.
“I’m just glad I gave the guys a chance in OT.”
In overtime, a Calgary turnover in the neutral zone popped the ball out to Toronto's Mike Hobbins who fed a streaking Cam Woods for the game winner.
“I hadn’t scored in a long time,” said Woods, who’s OT winner was his first goal of the season after not recording any last year. “But it was definitely worth the wait tonight.”
Josh Sanderson also had a hat trick for the Rock, his second in a row, and added six assists to again carry the Rock on his back while it’s missing its top two players. Captain Colin Doyle is out with a hamstring injury and Blaine Manning has a broken collarbone.
“They should rename Josh,” said Campbell, explaining his new name should simply be Clutch. “That’s all that kid wants to do.”
The Rock scored six unanswered goals Friday night in the fourth quarter to win its first game of the season before coming into Calgary on Saturday looking for revenge after the Roughnecks spoiled Toronto's home opener.
It was tied 6-6 heading into the second half Saturday, which saw a high-scoring third quarter with each team scoring five times to head into the fourth tied 11-11.
In the fourth quarter Calgary’s Curtis Dickson scored his third goal before the Roughnecks added their third power play goal to pull ahead two goals with ten minutes remaining.
The score remained 13-11 Calgary until the final minutes of the game, when Kasey Beirnes put his second goal in to bring the Rock within one and then assisted on Billings' game-tying goal with 10 seconds left.
Roik made 33 saves in his fourth game, getting his second win in a row to bring the Rock’s record to an even 2-2.