The defending NLL Champion. Calgary Roughnecks (2-3) are having a hard time flexing their muscles and showing their superiority of the National Lacrosse League.
First, they dropped a last-second decision to the, then winless Philadelphia Wings, the Roughnecks clearly are paying the price for not having the services of their superstar Dane Dobbie and came out on the short side of a 13-12 decision to the Rochester Knighthawks (1-4).
Not only was it the first victory in the history of the expansion Rochester, but it was also a coming of age for a team with a ton of promise.
A game-long battle climaxed with two fourth-quarter goals to make the difference.
A flurry of goals dotted the first stanza with Calgary jumping in front 2-0 off lamplighters from Eli Salama (2g) just 1:02 apart
The veteran leadership of Rochester responded when Holden Cattoni (1g,6a) at 3:14 and Curtis Knight (3g, 4a) got the game at 2-2 with only 5:24 elapsed.
Ryland Rees made it three in a row for Rochester before Calgary returned the favor Curtis Dickson (2g.3a) potting two goals to close the opening stanza with Calgary showing some swagger and a 4-3 lead.
At the 1:54 mark, Dereck Downs (2g) padded the Roughnecks lead to 5-3 before Dan Lintner (1g,1) stemmed the flow to make it a one-goal affair at 5-4 at the 4:35 mark.
Mitch Wilde (1g) and Downs countered to put Calgary in the driver’s seat with a 7-4 advantage before the upstart Roughnecks stormed back with markers from Paul Dawson (1g) on a pretty transition goal at 11:12 and Dan Michel (1g,1a) with Rochester netminder Craig Wende pulled with just three seconds to play in the half to get the contest to a 7-6 Calgary lead.
Thomas Whitty (ganged 1g) leveled the scoreboard before Dan Taylor (3g) hit rope twice in just :24 to put the Champs back up, 9-7 with 12:30 to play in the third.
Cory Highfield (1g), Phil Caputo (1g,1a) and Turner Evans (2g,3a)
ganged up on the Roughnecks with goals just 3:54 apart to seize control, albeit temporarily.
Taylor added his third and Reece Caillies (2g) stepped to, once again get things in favor of Calgary, 11-10.
Shawn Evans (5a) and Turner Evans set up Knight to, get it back even with just 1:52 remaining in the third.
The Warriors were in full battle mode and the defenses were not going away without having their say.
The final stanza only witnessed three goals that were started by Zach Herreweyers (1g,3a) to give the visitors a one-goal lead with 16:31 to play.
Ryland Rees and Curtis Knight took center stage to guide Rochester to their history-making first franchise victory.
Dis and Dat: Craig Wende continues to sparkle in the Rochester nets and turned away 42 Calgary chances while Christian Del Bianco stopped 40.
Loose balls favored Halifax, 75-63 while Calgary took 19 of 28 faceoffs.
Power plays had Calgary going 0 for 2 and Rochester 1 of 3.8
By: Kevin Neibauer
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