This one hurts. Really hurts, say the Calgary Roughnecks. “It’s a failure. Simple as that,” Roughnecks coach Curt Malawsky told The Calgary Herald following Saturday’s 14-13 loss to Washington in the National Lacrosse League’s West Division final. “All the hard work went down the tubes. I was proud of my guys, they battled hard, but the result is we didn’t get the job done. It stings and it hurts.” Making it hurt most is how hard the Riggers worked, even when they were down by 5 goals on Saturday. Hard work is supposed to pay off, right? But it didn’t for Calgary and the Roughnecks are left with another offseason to figure out what went wrong.
A big part of that was the Stealth. Washington took an 8-5 lead into halftime, then tacked on 2 in the first 3 minutes of the second half for a 10-5 lead. But the Riggers responded with 5 of the next 6 goals to close the third quarter to cut Washington’s lead to 11-10.
And who else but Curtis Dickson was the man to lead the charge. He scored 4 of his 7 goals in that third quarter, including a natural hat trick with a short-handed goal, a power-play goal and an even-strength goal.
“Curtis Dickson is the best lacrosse player in the world,” Roughnecks transition man Geoff Snider told The Herald. “For a guy that young to take this and put it on his back, he deserves a ton of credit.”
Dickson scored all 3 of Calgary’s goals in the fourth quarter, and all 3 of them tied the score. But it was Rhys Duch who scored the winner at 8:06 and Dickson and the Roughnecks were out of answers.
For Washington coach Chris Hall, he learned a lot about both sides.
“We never let them get the lead, which was the mark of a championship calibre team,” said Hall. “We got a five-goal lead on them and yet they managed to find a way to come back. We kept our poise and we answered.”
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At least 3 players for the Washington Stealth will feel right at home at the Langley Events Centre as Mike Grimes, Lewis Ratcliff and Athan Iannucci have all played home games there for the Langley Thunder. (The Province) … So, about the 3 times the Roughnecks tied the score in the fourth quarter and then had the ball in the final minute for an attempt to force overtime? Yeah, the game was that close against the Stealth. “A couple bounces here and there and it’s a different outcome,” said Calgary’s Geoff Snider. (Calgary Sun) … Lots of talk from the game in Rochester about a video review that overturned a Matt Gibson goal that would have given the Swarm a 10-7 lead in the fourth quarter. But the game resumed with a 9-7 lead for the Swarm and that’s when the Knighthawks went on a 5-0 run to seal the win. “We were lucky to be home there, it (the replay) came up pretty quick and it was a good one, we’ll take it. It was barely (in the crease). It was a big swing, and the guys responded well,” said Rochester coach Mike Hasen. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle) … Swarm coach Joe Sullivan didn’t agree with the call. “I’m not going to say it’s a homer call, but it was the wrong call in my opinion,” said Sullivan. “It was ruled a goal, and it has to be evident enough to be overturned, and I don’t feel that it was. Sour grapes are what they are, so we’ll live with that. It’s a tough way to go down. If it’s 10-7, that’s a different lead than a two-goal lead that late in the game.” (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle).Chavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to RochesterSports.com.
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