The Calgary Roughnecks pushed past the Edmonton Rush 9-8 in a very closely matched Saturday night game.
Calgary improves to 4-2 with the win and remains in first place in the NLL West. Edmonton drops to 1-4, the worst record in the league.
Compared to the matchup these same two teams had a week before, where 33 goals were scored, this game featured tighter checking and outstanding goaltending on both sides.
Netminders Mike Poulin for the Roughnecks and Aaron Bold of the Rush turned away 45 and 44 shots, respectively, in a complete reversal of fortune from the 18-15 shootout in Edmonton last weekend.
Curtis Dickson led Calgary scoring four goals, including the game winner, while Mark Matthews and Ryan Ward each contributed four points to the Edmonton cause.
Edmonton got out the the early lead, scoring the only goal of the first quarter and taking a 2-0 lead early in the second before Calgary finally got on the scoreboard with a classic Superman-style goal by Dickson, flying through the air to sneak one past Bold.
Calgary would go ahead 3-2 at the half, but Edmonton tied things back up in the third and battled the Roughnecks to a tie after three quarters.
Dickson would finally seal the deal with a shot from outside with less than a minute to play.
It could be argued that a number of questionable calls kept the game closer than it might otherwise have been. Jon Harnett of the Roughnecks was clearly held by the jersey on a partial breakaway in the second quarter that was not called. In the fourth, Shawn Evans was knocked to the ground by a high stick to the head that also did not result in a penalty. Had either of these calls resulted in penalties, Calgary might have out the game away sooner.
Dane Dobbie, who sustained a leg injury in last week’s contest, did not dress for this game, allowing Aaron Pascas and Joe Resetarits more time on the floor and they delivered; Pascas assisted on three goals and Resetarits scored once.
Next week, both the Roughnecks and Rush play double-headers. The Roughnecks play two road games, journeying to Toronto on Friday and then to Minnesota on Saturday. The Rush host Washington on Friday, then travel to Colorado on Saturday.