Roughnecks beat Rush with huge second half

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

A five-goal run in the second half was all the Calgary Roughnecks needed to down the Saskatchewan Rush 13-6 on Friday night at the Saddledome.

As expected it was a defensive battle with only six goals scored in total in the second half. Christian Del Bianco was once again a difference-maker. He was pelted 50 shots and made 44 saves.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the floor it was an off-night for Alex Buque. He allowed seven goals on the last 11 shots he faced. He was pulled in the fourth quarter in favour of Eric Penney after allowing 10 goals off of 32 shots.

During the first half, the Rush did what they needed to do in order to shut down Calgary’s dangerous transition game. However, three of the five goals during the second half run came off transition.

Rush take an early lead

It was a low-scoring affair right from the start. Calgary would get on the board first at 9:25. Zach Currier picked up a loose ball in his own end and went coast-to-coast to make it 1-0.

Saskatchewan tied it up 1-1 with 3:13 left to play in the first quarter. Ryan Keenan took a one-handed pass from Mark Matthews and buried it by Del Bianco.

The Rush would take the lead with 55 seconds left in the quarter with Matthews going short-side on Del Bianco to make it 2-1 after the first quarter.

Roughnecks tie it up

Saskatchewan would find themselves in penalty trouble early in the second quarter. Kyle Rubisch laid a huge blindsided check to Tyler Pace that yielded a five-minute illegal body check. Tanner Cook scored 22 seconds into the major penalty to tie the game 2-2.

The Rush regained the lead with 5:41 left in the first half. Marty Dinsdale’s inside shot made it 3-2 for the road team.

Calgary rallied back with 2:54 on the clock when Jesse King found a lane to tie it 3-3 at the half.

Calgary pulls away in the third

The wheels fell off for the Rush to start the third quarter as Calgary went on their five-goal run.

Pace started it off 1:40 into the third quarter as he cut through the middle for the goal. Zach Currier followed that up eight seconds later, scoring right off the draw to make it 5-3.

Eli Salama scored Calgary’s third goal within 28 seconds to extend the lead to 6-3. Haiden Dickson would score at the 11:29 mark to give Calgary a four-goal lead.

Shane Simpson rounded out the five-goal run at 9:38 to make it 8-3.

Saskatchewan finally got back on the board with 3:04 left in the third. Bobby Kidd III ripped a shot top corner on Del Bianco to make it 8-4 with one quarter left to play.

Roughnecks hold on for the win

Keenan opened the scoring 19 seconds into the fourth quarter to narrow the lead to three. After that, Cook and Pace took over the game.

Calgary went on the three-goal run with Cook scoring at 13:30. Pace added a couple of goals himself including one from long-range to beat the shot clock. Those goals mark the end of the night for Buque in the Rush’s goal.

With the goaltender pulled, Robert Church scored six-on-five with 6:07 left in the game. However, Cook scored two more to cap off the huge second half for the Roughnecks.

Top Scorers

Saskatchewan Rush

Ryan Keenan, 2g 1a

Robert Church, 1g 2a

Marty Dinsdale, 1g 2a

Mark Matthews, 1g 2a

Calgary Roughnecks

Jesse King, 1g 6a

Zach Currier, 2g 3a

Tanner Cook, 4g

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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.