Desert Dog pull off the upset over Calgary

Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Las Vegas Desert Dogs hosted the Calgary Roughnecks on Friday night and were able to pull off the upset with an 11-9 victory.

Las Vegas fought fire with fire and they decided to use the transition to their advantage as well. Defenceman John Wagner proved his transition prowess with a pair of goals.

This game also featured the mentor (Christian Del Bianco) against the student (Landon Kells). It was Kells who came out on top with one of his best performances of the season, stopping 32 of 41 shots. Meanwhile, it was an off night for Del Bianco. He allowed four goals on the first seven shots he faced. Adam Bland saw limited action to give Del Bianco a break in the first quarter.

All Vegas in the first quarter

The Desert Dogs didn’t waste any time getting to the Roughnecks and Del Bianco. The younger of the King brothers, Marshal, opened the scoring at 12:48. Jack Hannah, who is proving he can make the transition to the box game, scored at 8:57 to give Las Vegas a 2-0 lead.

Calgary’s transition game got going at the 7:31 mark as Shane Simpson took a pass from Zach Currier and buried it to narrow Las Vegas’ lead.

The Desert Dog would finish off the first quarter by going on a four-goal run with markers from Wagner, Hannah, and two from Zack Greer. Las Vegas led 6-1 at the break.

Roughnecks recover in the second

Simpson would finish off his hat trick to start off the second quarter to cut Las Vegas’ lead in half 6-3.

Jon Phillips’ goal at the 11:35 mark would restore the Desert Dogs’ four-goal cushion, but Calgary would over after that.

Josh Currier would score to the 9:41 mark followed by Tanner Cook at 9:41 to make it 7-5. Jesse King would equal his brother with 6:05 left in the quarter before Josh Currier’s goal at 5:38 would make the score 7-7 at the half.

Las Vegas takes over in the third

The Desert Dogs kept pushing again one of the top teams in the west division. Sam Firth opened the third period scoring on the power play at 11:13 to give Vegas an 8-7 lead.

Wagner would add to the tally with an unassisted effort with 6:42 left in the quarter to give the Desert Dogs a two-goal cushion heading into the final frame.

Upset complete

Josh Currier scored for the Roughnecks 2:21 into the fourth quarter but Calgary couldn’t keep the momentum going.

Phillips added another at the 11:07 mark followed by Rob Hellyer at 9:33 to put the Desert Dogs up 11-8.

Jesse King would round out the scoring at 8:19 but it won’t be enough as Las Vegas would pull off the upset.

Top Scorers

Las Vegas Desert Dogs

Jack Hannah, 2g 3a
Rob Hellyer, 1g 3a
Charlie Bertrand, 4a
Zack Greer, 2g 2a

Calgary Roughnecks

Jesse King, 2g 2a
Josh Currier, 3g 1a
Tanner Cook, 1g 2a
Dan Taylor, 3a

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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.