The Calgary Roughnecks took on the Halifax Thunderbirds at the Scotiabank Centre on Saturday night in Week 10 action. Halifax was riding high after handing Rochester their first loss of the season last week. Meanwhile, the Roughnecks were coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to Toronto. Additionally, Calgary scratched transition player Shane Simpson shortly before game time. However, their transition game still came up big, producing six goals, including the game-winner in overtime, as they won 12-11.
Halifax runs out to halftime lead
The Thunderbirds struck first, with Ryan Benesch (1g, 2a) scoring at the 2:09 mark. Tanner Cook (2g; 3:47) would equalize for Calgary on a power play. The teams then traded three-goal runs. Halifax took a 4-1 lead with goals from Randy Staats (2g, 4a; 5:39), Chris Boushy (7:37), and Jake Withers (1g, 1a; 7:47). Calgary countered with markers from Simpson’s replacement, Ethan Ticehurst (9:51), followed by Haiden Dickson (2g, 1a; 12:14), and Zach Currier (3g: 12:53) to make it 4-4 after 15 minutes of play.
Halifax outscored Calgary 4-1 in the second quarter. Austin Shanks (1g, 1a; 1:15), Trevor Smyth (2:22), Clarke Petterson (2g, 2a; 2:56), and Eric Fannell (1g, 1a; 8:49; power play) contributed to the Thunderbirds’ four-goal run. Josh Currier (11:02) would respond to end the run and pull the Roughnecks to 8-5 at halftime.
Calgary rallies to force extra time
Zach Currier’s second goal (0:50) to open the third quarter cut the deficit to two, 8-6. Ryan Terefenko (1g, 1a; 4:40) and a second tally from Staats (7:57) restored a four-goal lead for Halifax. The teams then traded power play goals, with Dickson (10:26) for Calgary being countered by Petterson’s second (11:31) for Halifax to make it 11-7. Unfortunately for the Thunderbirds, they would go scoreless the rest of the game.
Zach Currier would notch his hat trick goal (13:58), but Halifax would regain possession in the dying seconds of the third quarter. With time winding down, goalie Warren Hill was pulled for an extra attacker. However, Jeff Cornwall (2g, 1a) would intercept a pass and fire a shot from Calgary’s restraining line that found the back of the empty Halifax net with just under a second remaining on the clock, narrowing the gap to 11-9 with 15 minutes to play. The fourth quarter saw two more unanswered goals from the Roughnecks. Jesse King and Tyler Pace assisted on Cook’s second goal of the night (7:51), then both assisted again on the game-tying goal from Dan Taylor (1g, 1a; 14:42).
Calgary needed just nine seconds of extra time to escape with the victory. Cornwall picked up the loose ball off the faceoff and charged down the middle of the Halifax zone, beating Hill five-hole for the win. Calgary improves to 4-3 with the win – they are now tied with Colorado for 3rd place in the West Division, a half-game behind Saskatchewan, and a half-game ahead of Panther City. Halifax drops to 4-4, good for 4th place in the East Division but now two games behind Rochester and Toronto, and just a half-game ahead of the now 5th place Philadelphia Wings.
Other Stats of Note
Power Play: CGY 2 of 7; HFX 2 of 6
Jesse King (CGY): 4 assists
Jake Withers (HFX): 23 of 27 on faceoffs; 23 Loose Balls (led all players)
Christian Del Bianco (CGY): 54 saves on 65 shots
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“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.