Pat Bernard – Philadelphia Wings correspondent, Deveraux Sports/Edge of Philly Sports
The Calgary Roughnecks hosted the Panther City Lacrosse Club at the Scotiabank Saddledome in a first-round NLL playoff matchup Saturday night. It was the first playoff game in franchise history for PCLC in just their second year, while Calgary finished second in the West with a franchise-high 13 victories. The Roughnecks saw a one-goal halftime lead become a one-goal deficit after three quarters. But Tyler Pace went off in the fourth, scoring three of his four goals as Calgary won a 12-9 decision to advance to the West Conference final against the Colorado Mammoth.
King lifts Calgary to first-half edge
Jesse King really took over this game, from start to finish. Tanner Cook finds him wide open in front, where King would make a nice goal. He would then set the tone of the game for the Calgary Roughnecks. But Panther City’s offense was very heavy in the first quarter. After King made his goal, Panther City answered back by putting up three straight goals. Jonathan Donville on a power play, Callum Crawford, and Phil Caputo. Patrick Dodds and Mathieu Gautier would also get in on the action in the first. Calgary countered with Tyler Pace, Cook, and Zach Currier. By the end of the first quarter PCLC was up 6-4.
There were times where Calgary Roughnecks were facing adversity and Jesse King stepped up and helped battle back. Roughnecks offensive set screen, that would leave Jesse King open from distance to make his goal. Jesse King cuts through Panther City’s defense to get his goal, recording his hat trick. Currier and Cook each followed with their second, PCLC could only muster a goal from Will Malcom. Roughnecks lead 8-7 at the half.
Pace takes over in the fourth
In the third quarter, Panther City would score the only two goals of the frame. While Callum Crawford was deftly being double teamed from Jeff Cornwall and Seth Van Schepen, he makes a pass to Patrick Dodds for a top shelf goal. Matt Hossack then gets running up the field, and beats the man to man coverage putting Panther City up 9-8 with 15 minutes to play.
It was right time, right Pace in the fourth quarter for the Roughnecks. Tyler Pace scored three straight goals, two on the power play, with two assisted by Jesse King. With the Panther City defense shifting to the right side of the floor to key in on King, Pace would be all alone to cap off his big night and send Calgary to the next round.
Calgary went 3-for-4 on the power play and 15-of-25 on faceoffs
The transition games seemed to neutralize each other, as Shane Simpson and Eli Salama were held without a point for Calgary, and Panther City’s Josh Medeiros and Liam Patten were also kept off the board.
Zach Currier led all players with 11 loose balls, and tied an NLL playoff single-game record with 6 Caused Turnovers in the win
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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.