On a night that saw Dane Dobbie pass Jeff Shattler to become the all-time Calgary Roughnecks leading scorer, it was the Saskatchewan Rush that spoiled the occasion with a 13-12 victory in overtime.
The win was especially sweet for the Rush, as it looked like they were destined to repeat the outcome of last week’s comeback win for Buffalo. However, for the Rush and their bus loads of fans in section 103, Ben McIntosh’s goal 46 seconds into overtime made for a happy ending to the night and a spirited bus trip back home to Saskatoon. The victory moves the Rush to 5-1 on the season. The Roughnecks record drops to 1-5.
The Rush opened the first quarter with a four-goal run. Curtis Knight, Adrian Sorichetti, Nick Finlay, with his first career goal, and Jeremy Thompson each scored before Dane Dobbie got the Roughnecks on the board with his first of the night. Long-time Roughneck Jeff Shattler scored the Rush’s fifth goal of the quarter and also ended the night for goalie Frank Scigliano.
Saskatchewan continued their solid play into the second. The unrelenting Rush defence kept Calgary shooters to the outside, forcing a number of long distance shots. Rush goalie Evan Kirk stopped 23 of 27 first-half shots. The Rush were also able to stifle the strong Calgary transition game, limiting the duo of Tyson Bell and Zach Currier to just one point on the evening. Once again, Shattler scored late in the quarter to give the Rush a 10-4 lead heading into halftime.
Desperate for momentum, Calgary got what they needed at the 5:37 mark of the third. Dobbie assisted on a Riley Loewen goal giving him the franchise lead in scoring with 685 points. The goal ignited the hometown crowd and saw Calgary continue their run of six-straight goals to tie the game at 10.
The rivals played a highly-entertaining fourth quarter, exchanging goals back and forth. With the Rush ahead 12-11 late, Dobbie flew through the air and scored the tying goal with 59 seconds left, sending the crowd into a frenzy and the game into overtime.
In overtime, Calgary had the first chance as Wes Berg attacked the net but was turned aside by Kirk. Saskatchewan responded by getting the ball down low to McIntosh who drove the net and tucked the ball over Del Bianco’s right shoulder. That goal was McIntosh’s 18th of the season, which puts him in second place in the league.
Despite the loss, Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky was encouraged by his team’s effort.
“I understand more than anybody that it’s a performance based business, but I’d be an idiot to stand up here and hang our heads after a game like that,” he said. “You battle and you complete like that, you have to take that as a turning point in the season.”
Saskatchewan had a balanced offensive attack with four players scoring four points: Mark Matthews (2G, 2A), Curtis Knight (2G, 2A), Ben McIntosh (2G, 2A) and Robert Church (0G, 4A). The Rush play a double header next week with a road game against the Mammoth in Colorado followed by a home game the next evening against the Vancouver Stealth.
For Calgary, it was Dane Dobbie (2G, 5A), Curtis Dickson (5G, 1A) and Holden Cattoni (1G, 5A) leading the way. Calgary is in Toronto next Saturday to take on the high-scoring Rock.