“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk – All Lacrosse All The Time, a Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Calgary Roughnecks hosted the Vancouver Warriors at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night. While it was the season opener for Calgary, Vancouver looked to erase the memory of a 19-8 shellacking at the hands of Toronto last week. However, Calgary would not have their home opener spoiled, winning 11-9 thanks to a six-point night from newly appointed captain Jesse King.

Calgary Takes First Half Lead With Six Different Scorers

It didn’t take long for the home side to get their crowd fired up. Harrison Matsuoka took a transition pass, cut between two defenders, and scored just 40 seconds into the game. Logan Schuss (1g, 1a; 4:02) would respond for Vancouver. Tanner Cook (2g, 2a) would restore the Roughnecks’ lead at the 12:23 mark, dunking one past Warriors goalie Steve Fryer.

The Warriors opened the second quarter scoring by taking advantage of a pair of penalties on Eli Salama. Power play markers from Mitch Jones (2g, 3a; 2:10), then Keegan Bal (4g, 2a; 2:29) gave Vancouver their first lead of the game. But Calgary would answer with a four-goal run, starting with Zach Currier (1g, 2a; 2:43). Jesse King (3g, 3a) then added a power play marker at 5:04. Shane Simpson (7:19) and Curtis Manning (8:13) would extend the Roughnecks’ lead to three before Kyle Killen (1g, 1a; 9:06) ended the run. In between the scoring, numerous penalties were called on both teams as things got heated and extremely physical. Calgary held a 6-4 lead at halftime.

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Late Goals Lift Calgary To Victory

Bal’s second power play goal (3:00), followed by the second goal from Jones (6:14) tied the game at 6 to start the second half. Cook would nab his second goal 42 seconds later, but Bal would notch his hat trick at 7:55 to knot the game at 9-9. King’s second power play goal (8:16) gave Calgary a slim one-goal advantage heading into the final quarter.

Bal tallied his fourth of the night, and the 100th goal of his career, at 1:17 of the fourth quarter to tie the game once again at 8-8. Haiden Dickson (4:41; power play) restored the lead for Calgary, but Adam Charalambides (1g, 3a) responded 45 seconds later with a series of fakes to beat Roughnecks goalie Christian Del Bianco.

The game remained deadlocked until Dan Taylor (8:49) and King’s hat trick goal (12:10) put the Roughnecks up 11-9. Vancouver would have no response, falling to 0-2 on the season. These teams meet again next Friday in at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

Other Stats of Note

Vancouver went 10 of 24 on faceoffs, with rookie Jonathan Gagliardi filling in for the injured Tyrell Hamer-Jackson

Power Play: VAN 4 of 6; CGY 3 of 7

Steve Fryer (VAN) and Christian Del Bianco (CGY) both had 40 saves on the night

Zach Currier (CGY): 12 loose balls (led all players)

Reid Bowering (VAN): 10 loose balls

Tyler Pace (CGY): 4 assists

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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.