The Calgary Roughnecks were able to pull off the upset as they defeated the Toronto Rock 11-10 on Saturday night in Hamilton.
The Rock just could not solve Roughnecks’ goaltender Christian Del Bianco. CDB faced 54 shots and made 44 saves for the victory. Meanwhile, Toronto mustered only five goals in the first half. Their potent offense was held off the scoresheet in the third quarter.
Toronto went 17 of 24 at the faceoff dot and four for six on the power play, yet five-on-five the offense went silent, especially during that third quarter.
For Calgary, it was a collective team effort. They got goals from eight different goal scorers with Jesse King leading the way with two goals and three assists.
Toronto is also finally getting healthy. Chris Corbeil returned to the lineup and finished with one loose ball and one blocked shot.
Calgary Takes The Early Edge
The Roughnecks got on the board first. Jesse King found the back of the net 3:29 into the game.
The Rock would come back to tie it up at 5:02 with Corey Small scoring on the power play.
Calgary replied right back quickly. Harrison Matsuoka scored unassisted 37 seconds later. Tyler Pace then found the back of the net on the power play at 7:43 on the power play to round out a two-goal run for the Roughnecks.
Small scored his second of the game with 1:47 left to narrow Calgary’s lead to 3-2.
The Rock took a chance late in the quarter and pulled Nick Rose for the extra attacker, but it backfired. Toronto turned the ball over and Robert Hudson scored on Tom Schreiber trying to play goaltender with one second on the clock. It was Hudson’s first career NLL goal as the Roughnecks led 4-2 at the break.
Roughnecks Hold On To Slim First Half Lead
It took 5:06 before either team would find the back of the net in the second quarter. Mark Matthews would break the ice on the power play to narrow Calgary’s lead to one.
Haiden Dickson replied just over two minutes later to snuff out any momentum temporarily for the Rock.
However, a diving Dan Lintner got Toronto back within one with 3:30 left in the quarter. Mitch De Snoo then buried one on transition with 2:12 on the clock to tie it up 5-5.
Not to be outdone, Shane Simpson picked up a missed Toronto shot and scored on the breakaway with 1:05 on the clock as the Roughnecks led 6-5 at the break.
Toronto Rocked In The Third
The wheels fell off for the Rock in the third quarter as they were outscored 4-0 and did not have an answer for Del Bianco.
Hudson scored this second of the game only 46 seconds into the third to make it 7-5. Matsuoka then took a long lead pass from Del Bianco to score on transition at 5:42 to put Calgary up 8-5.
Josh Currier joined the party at 8:58 to extend Calgary’s lead. King rounded out the scoring with 3:13 left in the quarter as the Roughneck led 10-5 heading into the final frame.
Rock Comeback Falls Short
Toronto tried to make a comeback in the fourth quarter as they outscored Calgary 5-1. But the lapse in the third quarter was too much to overcome as Calgary would pull off the upset.
Small scored twice in the first 49 seconds of the fourth quarter to get the Rock within three. Thomas Hoggarth replied for Calgary at 1:51 for the Roughnecks’ lone goal in the quarter.
Justin Martin scored for Toronto on transition as Challen Rogers and Nick Rose moved the ball up the floor with 8:48 left to play. Toronto stayed within striking distance as the score was 11-8.
Small struck again on the power play with 6:51 left on the clock for his fifth goal of the game. Matthews added another with 5:35 left on the clock. However, the Rock could not find the equalizer as the Roughnecks were able to pull off the upset. 11-10.
Chris Corbeil and Corey Small commented after the game:
Jesse King, 2g 3a
Tyler Pace, 1g 2a
Harrison Matsuoka, 2g
Tanner Cook, 2a
Mark Matthews, 2g 4a
Corey Small, 5g
Challen Rogers, 4a