The defending champion Calgary Roughnecks came into Infinite Energy Arena on Saturday night and pulled out an 18-17 overtime victory over the Georgia Swarm.
Reigning NLL MVP Dane Dobbie returned to the lineup for Calgary after serving a six-game suspension. And he made his illustrious return with a bang, rattling off six goals and recording one assist in the victory, including the game winner. Curtis Dickson (5G/5A) and Rhys Duch (4G/4A) also provided a spark for the Calgary offense.
Georgia’s offense, which didn’t get much going until the second half, saw Zed Williams lead the way with six points (5G/1A). Randy Staats also tallied eight points (4G/4A) for the Swarm.
Calgary came out hot in first half. Curtis Dickson scored twice and Dane Dobbie found the back of the net once to push Calgary ahead 3-0 early in the first.
While Georgia was able to answer with a two-goal run from Bryan Cole and Miles Thompson, the Roughnecks were still able to gain a 5-2 lead heading into the second.
The second quarter continued just as the first quarter had ended, with each team taking turns taking jabs at each other with multi-goal runs. The half ended with Tyler Burton scoring with just eight seconds on the clock to make it a 9-6 Calgary lead at the half
In the third the Swam exploded. A Lyle Thompson goal late in the quarter sparked a five-goal Georgia run that lasted through the early portion of the fourth and tied things at 11-11. The fourth was where things went really nuts with 14 combined goals. After the Swarm tied the game at 11, Calgary scored Dickson and Dobbie scored one minute apart. The Swarm answered again with goals from Miles Thompson and Williams 55 seconds apart. After that, it was back-and-forth. Dobbie thought he’d scored the game winner with 51 seconds left, backhanding the ball in past two defenders, but then with 27 seconds left Thompson forced overtime.
Just under two minutes into the overtime period, Dobbie put one past Kevin Orleman to secure the win for Calgary and putting some icing on the cake in his return game.
Christian Del-Bianco made 47 shots on 64 shots on goal for Calgary, while Mike Poulin and Kevin Orleman each got minutes on the floor. Orleman played the majority of the game, making 17 saves on seven shots on goal.