January 23, 2010

Stealth's Ratcliffe Roughs Up Roughnecks

from press release

CALGARY, AB - Despite a valiant effort in front of 10,104 fans at the Pengrowth Saddledome, the Calgary Roughnecks fell 16-15 to the Washington Stealth on Saturday night.

Former Roughneck Lewis Ratcliff was a one-man wrecking crew for the Stealth with six goals and three assists. Acquired in the off-season from the Toronto Rock by the Stealth, who also relocated to Everett, Wash., from San Jose prior to the 2010 campaign, Ratcliff’s sixth marker of the game at 12:38 of the final frame stood up as the game-winning goal.

With Calgary down by two goals late in the fourth quarter, Dane Dobbie scored his fourth goal of the game with 55.5 seconds left in the clock, but the Riggers (1-2) couldn’t notch the equalizer as the Stealth improved to 4-0 on the season.

Craig Conn and Josh Sanderson each fired four goals and added three assists for the Roughnecks, who fought back from 2-0 and 6-1 deficits in the first quarter to keep  Rigger fans on the edge of their seats.

Dobbie also had an assist to go with his four goals, while Tracey Kelusky (1g, 3a), Scott Ranger (1g, 2a) and Jeff Moleski (1g, 1a) also scored. Jeff Shattler proved to be a valuable set-up man for the Roughnecks with six assists. Goalie Matt King made 35 saves in a losing effort.

Cam Sedgwick had a hat trick and two helpers for the Stealth, while Jeff Zywicky (2g, 4a), Ryhs Duch (1g, 4a), Paul Rabil (1g, 4a), Joel Dalgarno (3a) and Jason Bloom also had multiple-point performances. Curtis Hodgson added one goal, while Washington netminder Matt Roik made 33 saves to record the victory.

Building upon a 13-11 win over the Buffalo Bandits one night earlier in Everett, the Stealth started out strongly against the Roughnecks as Ratcliff scored twice and set up another to build up a 5-1 advantage through one quarter.

Sanderson was the lone Roughneck to score in the first quarter at the 5:27 mark when he cut to the net and took a great behind-the-back pass from Craig Conn before firing a shot past Roik.

Ratcliff completed his hat trick at 1:41 of the second quarter when he fired a shot past King to put the Stealth up 6-1. Dobbie and Conn then answered back with goals 23 seconds apart to cut the deficit to three goals.

After Ranger took a great behind-the-back pass from Kelusky and picked the top corner behind Roik, Conn scored on a long-range bounce shot to make the score 6-5 in favour of Washington.

Following a shorthanded maker for the Stealth by Hodgson, Dobbie and Sanderson scored goals 15 seconds apart to tie the game at 7-7. For Sanderson, it was the 300th goal of his National Lacrosse League career.

The Stealth then regained the momentum as Ratcliff and Duch notched shorthanded goals eight seconds apart to go up by a pair. The scoring outburst continued as Kelusky and Conn scored for Calgary to tie the game at 9-9 heading into the intermission.

Ratcliff opened the scoring in the second half and then set up a goal by Sedgwick to put the Stealth up 11-9 before Conn and Sanderson each scored their hat-trick goals to tie the contest once again.

Just 13 seconds after Sanderson’s goal, Moleski took a pass from Curtis Manning and wired a shot past Roik to give the Riggers the lead for the first time in the game. That advantage was short lived though as Wiles fought through several checks to bully his way to the front of the Calgary net before depositing the ball behind King.

Sanderson then scored his fourth goal of the contest at 12:37 of the third quarter to put Calgary up 13-12 heading into the final frame. Just 22 seconds into the fourth quarter, Dobbie completed his hat trick when he fired a shot through a screen past Roik to give the ’Necks a two-goal cushion.

The Stealth refused to quit though as Zywicki scored before Sedgwick completed his hat trick. After a power-play goal by Wiles, Ratcliff scored his sixth of the contest to put the visitors up 16-14.

Despite a late rally and another goal by Dobbie, the Riggers couldn’t get the goal they needed to force overtime.

 Next up, the Roughnecks will head north to Edmonton to play the Rush on Saturday, Jan. 30 before hosting their Alberta rivals in a rematch at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Friday, Feb. 5.

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