Romp buoys Riggers

WES GILBERTSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:17 AM ET

The Calgary Roughnecks bandwagon has left the station.

And even if none of the so-called National Lacrosse League experts have jumped aboard, Riggers captain Tracey Kelusky and his gang aren't looking back.

"A lot of people have written us off, so they can say whatever they want to say," Kelusky said. "At the end of the day, it's what the group of men in this locker-room think. That's all we care about.

"And we believe."

Moments after the squad exploded for a season-high 18 goals Saturday night in a rout of the visiting Edmonton Rush, the chatter in the Roughnecks locker-room was interrupted by Journey's Don't Stop Believing, the same anthem the underdog Chicago White Sox rode to a World Series title three years ago.

"We can't stop believing," stressed Roughnecks defender Chris Seller. "We've got two more crucial games and we've got to throw two more Ws up on the board and then see where that seeds us for the playoffs."

You can't blame NLL insiders for doubting the Roughnecks as could-be Champion's Cup contenders given the team's struggles so far this year.

It's been anything but a dream season in the Stampede City.

But for all the bad news, though, there's one thing worth getting excited about: The Roughnecks aren't out of it yet.

With Saturday's thrashing of the visiting Rush, the Riggers leapfrogged into a tie for third spot in the West Division standings, joining the Portland LumberJax at 5-9.

To squeeze back into the playoff picture, the Rush (4-8) needed to beat the host Stealth late last night in San Jose.

The Roughnecks own the tiebreaker against the Jax, while the Calgary-Edmonton tiebreaker will be up for grabs when the provincial foes face off in the season-finale April 26 at Rexall Place.

Calgary's next outing is Saturday, when Ratcliff and the Rock pay a visit to the 'Dome. The Roughnecks will be out to prove they've exorcised the demons that have dogged them all season.

The critics may not agree, but the Riggers can't wait to prove them wrong.

"It seems like in the NLL, with all the parity, it's just whoever gets hot at the right time," Seller said.

"If you look at the Roughnecks run back in '04, they got hot at the right time of the season -- late --and carried it into the playoffs and ended up winning the championship.

"We're hoping we can build off this win and carry it over to the next couple games. Then, in the playoffs, anything can happen."


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