Toronto Will Pick 2nd In 2016 NLL Draft
Calgary, AB – The Calgary Roughnecks (8-10) dealt the Toronto Rock (5-13) their eighth road loss of the season with an 18-17 Calgary overtime decision on Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta.
The silver lining performance of the evening was Rob Hellyer’s team record tying 7-goal game. Brett Hickey set the record just over a year ago with a 7-goal performance last spring against the Vancouver Stealth. Hellyer also added six assists to go with his seven tallies for a 13-point night and the game’s third star.
“We had an unfortunate third quarter, giving up seven goals,” said Rock head coach John Lovell. “We wanted to get into a shutdown mode and get some stops, couldn’t seem to get any stops. It was good to see our offence put up those kinds of numbers in a game like this. We played hard and we did a lot of little things right. Going forward, I think there’s got to be a lot of changes with this team next year.”
Toronto found themselves down 3-1 just 5:05 into the first quarter, but returned the favour outscoring Calgary 3-1 the rest of the way in the opening quarter to end the opening 15 minutes tied 4-4.
Very early in the second quarter, just 39 seconds into the frame, Calgary struck for a powerplay, however Toronto went on a four-goal run to take an 8-5 lead. The Roughnecks got a late shorthanded goal in the final minute of the half to close the gap to 8-6 at the break.
The third quarter was all Roughnecks, scoring four times before the midway point of the third. Calgary kept the offence rolling, scoring another three goals and held the Rock to just a pair to build a 13-10 lead heading to the final 15 minutes.
Toronto and Calgary battled tooth and nail, matching goals back and forth with neither team showing any quit. With the Rock trailing by a pair late, rookie Kyle Aquin scored his first career goal, coming with the man advantage, to get the Rock to within a goal. Moments later, it was Hellyer scoring his seventh of the game, trying the score 17-17 to force overtime.
In overtime, Calgary’s Curtis Dickson appeared to end it early but the goal was quickly disallowed. The Roughnecks didn’t take long after that to get one that counted as the game-winner as Wes Berg scored his sixth of the game to give the Roughnecks the extra-time victory.
Coming into the evening, if Vancouver beat Georgia and Toronto lost to Calgary, the Rock would have ended the night with the first overall pick in the 2016 NLL Draft. Just moments after faceoff, the final score was in from Georgia and regardless of the outcome of the Rock game, Toronto would pick second as Georgia defeated Vancouver 14-6. Bad news for the Stealth is they traded their 2016 first round pick to Saskatchewan last season, so the Rush will get the first overall selection in the fall. The Rock and Stealth finish the season with identical 5-13 records, but the Rock won the two head-to-head meetings this year and finish ahead of Vancouver in the overall standings.
Rock goal scorers were Hellyer with seven, Turner Evans with four and Kasey Beirnes with three. Singles came from the sticks of Jesse Gamble, Dan Lintner and Aquin.
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