Christian Del Bianco Shuts Down The Rush

Calgary Roughnecks goaltender Christian Del Bianco was lights out in a 12-10 victory over the Saskatchewan Rush in game one of a home-and-home series.

Del Bianco was bombarded with 62 shots, but the Rush offence couldn’t only manage 10 goals. Frank Scigliano was up to the task, stopping 29 of 44 shots for the Rush. However, it was the Roughnecks that capitalized on their opportunities.

Tanner Cook had an eight-point night for the Roughnecks with a goal and seven assists. The Rush’s offence struggled as Zach Manns finished with only two assists, while Robert Church had one goal and Ryan Keenan had a pair. On the plus side, Clark Walter continued his hot streak with a pair of goals for the Rush.

All Del Bianco in the first

Although Saskatchewan had their chances, Del Bianco shut the door in the first quarter to keep the Rush off the scoresheet.

Tyler Pace opened the scoring at 3:47 followed by Tanner Cook 13 seconds later to give Calgary a 2-0 lead.

Haiden Dickson with 3:02 left in the quarter. Harrison Matsuoka took a long-bomb pass from Del Bianco with 1:25 left to round out the scoring as the Roughnecks held a 4-2 lead.

Rush make a dent in the Roughnecks’ lead

The second quarter went scoreless until the 6:06 mark when Mike Triolo got the Rush on the board. Dickson replied at 7:24 to get the Roughnecks back up to four.

Keenan rounded out the second quarter scoring with 2:18 left on the clock as Calgary held a 5-2 lead at halftime.

Rush offence continues to sputter

Keenan opened the scoring 1:37 into the second half to get Saskatchewan within a pair of goals.

The Roughnecks, however, went on a two-goal run as they started to pull away. Jesse King found the back of the net at 6:56 followed by Dan Taylor at 7:38 to put the Roughnecks up 7-3.

Walter would keep the Rush within striking distance with a goal at 8:56. Calgary replied with another two-goal run with Thomas Hoggarth finding the back of the net with 5:09 left. Tyler Pace rounded out the scoring with 4:27 on the clock as Calgary led 9-4 heading into the fourth quarter.

Saskatchewan can’t complete the comeback

The Rush would outscore the Roughnecks 6-3 in the final quarter but the final push came too little too late.

Holden Garlent scored on transition off a feed from Mike Messenger six seconds into the fourth to get the Rush back within four.

Josh Currier got Calgary back on the board at 5:25 to give the Roughnecks a 10-5 lead.

Saskatchewan kept chipping away as Church scored on the power play followed by Walter 32 seconds later to narrow the gap to 10-7.

Haiden Dickson restored Calgary’s four-goal lead at 9:42. Saskatchewan replied with Messenger taking a feed from Adam Jay with 4:35 left in the game.

King scored with 3:41 left to put the Roughnecks up 12-8. With the clock winding down, the Rush pulled Scigliano for the extra attacker and made things interesting.

Nathaniel Kozevnikov scored with the extra attacker with 2:07 left. Patrick Dodds stepped into a shot with 42 seconds left but the Rush would fall 12-10.

Both these teams will not meet on Saturday night in Saskatoon for the rematch in the home-and-home series.

Harrison Matsuoka had this to say after the game:

Christian Del Bianco commented after a huge night in goal for the Roughnecks:

Top Scorers

Calgary Roughnecks

Tanner Cook, 1g 7a

Jesse King, 2g 4a

Tyler Pace, 2g 3a

Saskatchewan Rush

Robert Church, 1g 3a

Ryan Keenan, 2g 1a

Mike Messenger, 1g 2a

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Shawn Slaght
Shawn Slaght

Shawn Slaght has been a sports reporter across the Canadian prairies for over 10 years and has experience covering everything from junior hockey to World Cup skiing to all levels of lacrosse. He is the Saskatchewan correspondent for All Lacrosse All The Time.