Seals Slick Win Over Roughnecks 2/29/2020

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Marcelo A. Sagüez, Correspondent Calgary Roughnecks
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Featured Image Photo Credit: Calgary Roughnecks

Saturday February 29, 2020 was Superhero Night which seemed to be an appropriate theme for Dane Dobbie’s first game at home in the Saddledome. Unfortunately for the Calgary Roughnecks (5-6) the Team Captain’s return would not turn out the way they had hoped and in a night of controversial calls, their West Division rivals the San Diego Seals (5-6) would come away with the win.  In an up and down division, a one game win or loss can do a lot and this loss did.  It propelled the Roughnecks from second place to fourth and moved the Seals from fourth to third.  Final Score:  San Diego 13—Calgary 12.

The Saddledome is fabulous. I love this place. I never want to leave it. I love playing here.” – Dane Dobbie

It didn’t take long for the focused Dobbie to put the Riggers on the board 2-0 in the first four minutes of the opening quarter.

A rarely seen dropped ball from Del Bianco in the crease on the long break pass caused the turnover stepping back into the crease to pick up the ball; and at the same time Tyson Bell received one of three penalties on the night, which didn’t help the Roughnecks on the scoreboard. The Seals took advantage of penalties and went 5-5 on the night.

Calgary’s Christian Del Bianco was on the brink of surpassing three of Frank Scigliano’s third-place franchise records. With three more wins, Del Bianco would become the third-most winningest goaltender eclipsing Scigliano’s previous record of 23. He needs 58 saves to have the third-most saves in franchise history, breaking Scigliano’s 1,787 mark, and once Del Bianco plays 164 more minutes, he will surpass Scigliano with 2,705 minutes to take the third-place spot.

After scoring San Diego’s third goal, Austin Staats headed to the bench and part way down the tunnel ‘tossed his cookies’, giving an indication how hard these guys are working for every possession.  The intensity of this game has playoff intensity to it.

In contrast to last week’s game against the Swarm, Curtis Dickson was limited to seven shots and his role seemed to create the seal for a shot from the shooter. With his efforts the Seal’s defense was quite content to bully him on and off-ball. The overturned Dickson goal late in the third was due to the shot clock counting down to zero before the ball crossed the goal line.

Game Highlights: Calgary vs San Diego 2/29/2020

San Diego’s offense was disciplined when they crashed the net, taking advantage of the defensive slide to feed the open crease-man leaving the Riggers to question their defensive strategy. Efficiently using the shot clock at every opportunity added to the comeback pressure.

Calgary fought the game in second half, line changes/transition were slow and disorganized. Del Bianco on several occasions had no one to feed down the floor. Scigliano may have been a good strategy for the Seals, playing 34:21 and saving 26-30 Roughneck shots.

Photo Credit: Di Miller

When Calgary’s tying goal was overturned, the Calgary fans erupted with displeasure with the official’s decision while Dobbie and Dickson continued to express their view on the goal during the Seals timeout. Upon the restart San Diego turned over the ball in the Calgary zone with 15 seconds in regulation for one last opportunity to tie the game.

The Riggers recovered the ball. Simpson tossed the ball down the floor to an open Dickson who attempted a run at the net, when Seals defender Brodie Merrill clearly hit Dickson with a high stick in front of the referee without a call.  Due to the overturned goal, the Seals walked away with the victory in what many say was another controversial loss for the Roughnecks.  Final Score:  San Diego 13—Roughnecks 12.

After the game Coach Malawski made the walk across the floor to the refs box to question why a call was not made.  Unfortunately for Calgary, in another what many say is a “Bad Call” goes down in the books as a loss for the 2019 NLL Champs.

Rhys Duch became the 15th player in NLL history to enter into the “400 Club”. The Calgary Roughnecks now hold the 13, 14 & 15 spot on the list with Dobbie; Dickson; and Duch all active on the Roughnecks roster.

 “We’ve got to learn how to play a full 60 minutes and I don’t want to say anything else because I don’t want to get fined.” – Dane Dobbie

 “We fell a goal short, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. I think in the first half, it was a tale of two games for us. I think we were undisciplined in the first half and took some penalties which is something we didn’t want to do and we kept them in the game.” – Coach Malawski

San Diego:  57 SOG; 16 SOFF; 68 LB; 13-29 FO; 5-5 PP; 11 PIM
Calgary:  56 SOG; 20 SOFF; 77 LB; 16-29 FO; 2-3 PP; 15 PIM

San Diego Frank Scigliano:  30 SOG; 26 Saves; 4 GA; .866 Sv%
San Diego Nick Damude: 26 SOG; 18 Saves; 8 GA; .692 Sv%
Calgary Christian Del Bianco: 57 SOG; 44 Saves; 13 GA; .772 Sv%


The Calgary Roughnecks (5-6) travel east for an Alterna Cup Series game against the Toronto Rock (7-3) on Sunday March 8, game time 3:00 p.m. EST.  Toronto currently leads the Alterna Cup 3-1; while Calgary is sitting with a 1-1 record.

The San Diego Seals (5-6) will host the Rochester Knighthawks (2-8) on Saturday March 7, game time 10:30 p.m. EST.   This will be the only time the two teams will face each other this season.

Marcelo A. Sagüez, Correspondent Calgary Roughnecks
Lacrosse is Awesome©

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