The Calgary Roughnecks (5-5) visited the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto to face the Rock (7-4) in front of 7,826 people.
The Roughnecks have been looking like the team of old with Dane Dobbie back in the lineup, scoring thirteen times in the last two games. Christian Del Bianco has been steady in net, giving his team a chance to win each and every outing.
The Rock welcomed back Dan Dawson and Tom Schreiber from the Injury list, bolstering an already potent offensive unit. The defense and goaltending has been the story of late, holding both Halifax, and Saskatchewan to under ten goals in the last two games.
This was not one of Toronto’s best outings, with many missed passes and missed shots, but a great deal of credit had to do with aggressive defending by the Roughnecks, taking the Rock out of good shooting and passing lanes. While Dane Dobbie (1g,4a) was kept in check, the defense didn’t do the same with Curtis Dickson (3g,0a), and Rhys Duch (2g,3a) who controlled the tempo of the Roughnecks offense, beating Toronto 13-10.
Toronto opened the scoring when Dan Craig (1g,3a) quick sticked a Rob Hellyer pass at 5:33 on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play started by Tom Schreiber, but Calgary stormed back with three of their own in just over five minutes to take a 3-1 lead.
Rhys Duch (2g,3a) converted a Tyler Pace pass at 6:00, followed by Zach Herreweyers (1g,1a) with a swim move, then a dive across the crease, putting it past Nick Rose ( Rock goalie) at 7:44. Curtis Dickson (3g,0a) increased the Roughneck lead when he leaped from behind the net out front with a Superman dive at 11:04 in highlite reel fashion.
The Rock came back with two to tie when the transition team took over. David Brock (1g,1a) went coast to coast beating Christian Del Bianco (Roughnecks goalie) to the far side at 12:17 unassisted, followed by Damon Edwards (1g,0a) firing a howitzer over the shoulder of Del Bianco off a David Brock pass at 13:39.
After one quarter, Calgary 3 Toronto 3.
Calgary opened the second quarter on a mission, controlling play from the start.
Curtis Dickson gave the Roughnecks the lead back when he used Taylor Stuart as a screen firing a laser past Rose at 2:30. Dan Taylor (2g,2a) converted a Dane Dobbie pass all alone in front of the net, at 5:52, followed by another Rock defensive breakdown leaving Mitch Wilde (1g,0a) alone heading to the net, beating Rose at 6:06 for a 6-3 Calgary lead.
Rob Hellyer (2g,3a) got one back for Toronto on the powerplay, converting a Johnny Powless pass at 6:49, but Curtis Dickson came right back, pushing off Scott Dominey on defense, going to the net alone for his hat-trick goal at 7:45.
Tom Schreiber (2g,0a) got his first goal since returning from injury when he fired a laser from the outside off a Dan Craig pass at 8:13, but Rhys Duch got it back on the powerplay, firing a cannon of a shot from just inside the restraining line off a Dan Taylor pass at 9:48.
On a Roughnecks turnover, Josh Jubenville came in all alone scoring unassisted for the Rock at 11:03, followed by Tom Schreiber scoring his second of the night from his back (after being pushed to the turf) converting a Dan Dawson pass at 12:41, bringing the Rock within one goal 8-7.
Dane Dobbie made his presence felt when he fired a laser to the far top corner, over Nick Rose’s shoulder off a shane Simpson pass at 13:31.
At the half, Calgary 9 Toronto 7.
The Rock needed to come out in the second half with energy, but it was the Roughnecks that got off to the fast start.
Dan Taylor scored just 0:49 seconds into the third quarter off a Tyler Pace pass, followed by Pace himself scoring off a Dan Taylor pass on the powerplay at 2:23 getting in behind the Rock defense again, putting the Rock down 11-7 just minutes into the half.
Both goalies were playing spectacular, making big saves, keeping their respective teams in the game.
Toronto finally got on the board when Challen Rogers converted a Dan Craig pass at 7:11.
Calgary thought they had their twelfth goal when Curtis Dickson scored at 9:22, but the Rock challenged the play, and after a few minutes of deliberations referee Chris Williams deemed Dickson’s foot in the crease – No Goal!
The Rock came back with Rob Hellyer scoring his second of the night converting a Dan Dawson pass at 12:43, bringing the game back within two goals.
After three quarters, Calgary 11 Toronto 9.
The fourth quarter opened with Shane Simpson (2g,1a) taking a long lead pass from Christian Del Bianco, making no mistake on a screen shot at 1:34 in transition.
The Rock came down on a 3 on 1 in transition. Sheldon Burns passed to Scott Dominey who fired a shot far side on Del Bianco for the goal at 7:02.
Both teams had opportunities throughout the half, with Rose and Del Bianco playing exceptional.
Shane Simpson put the finishing touch on the game with an empty net goal for the Roughnecks at 14:43, assuring Calgary of the victory.
Final score, Calgary 13 Toronto 10.
“It was an uncharacteristic game for us,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “We felt we weren’t mentally sharp in a lot of areas and it’s just not the kind of performance to be successful. We’ll be better next week, we have no other choice.
“They came out and had a bit more jump than us. We weren’t at our best, but we still hung around in that game. We just gave up too many opportunities and there were too many missed opportunities by us.”
Shots on goal were in favor of the Rock 55-53.
The loose ball battle went to the Roughnecks 83-79.
Faceoffs were dominated by Calgary 22-6.
Calgary went 2 for 5 on the powerplay, while the Rock went 1 for 4.
The Three Stars:
1. Curtis Dickson Calgary
2. Shane Simpson Calgary
3. Rob Hellyer Toronto
Rhys Duch 2g, 3a
Tyler Pace 1g, 4a
Dan Taylor 2g, 2a
Rob Hellyer 2g, 3a
Dan Craig 1g, 3a
Dan Dawson 0g, 3a
Calgary’s next game is at home Friday March 13th against the Saskatchewan Rush. Game time is 9:30pm (ET).
Toronto’s next game is at home against the Buffalo Bandits on Friday March 13th. Game time is 7:30pm.
(Photo Credits: Gary Groob)
(Quotes courtesy of the Toronto Rock)
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game 10 years ago. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob had an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Mr. Groob also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.