Roughnecks rally past Rush, clinch 3rd


EDMONTON — Curt Malawsky scored four goals and added an assist as the Calgary Roughnecks clinched third place in the National Lacrosse League’s West Division, knocking off the rival Edmonton Rush 12-8 to close out the regular season on Saturday night.

It was the third consecutive win for the Roughnecks (7-9) who will face the second seeded Mammoth in Colorado next Saturday in the first round of the playoffs.

Calgary spread the scoring around with Mike Carnegie, Chris Seller, Bruce Codd, Tracy Kelusky, Kaleb Toth, Jeff Moleski, Kelly Hall and Josh Sanderson also recording goals.

It was the fifth straight loss for the Rush (4-12) who have missed the post-season every year since joining the league in 2006.

Mike Hominuck led the way for Edmonton with three goals, Dan Teat had a pair and Mike Grimes, Dan Stroup and Jimmy Quinlan contributed with single goal night.

Calgary started the scoring 1:18 into the contest as Carnegie stripped a ball in the Roughnecks zone and went in on a breakaway, tucking the ball past Rush starter Matt King. Another breakaway marker by Seller put the Roughnecks ahead 2-0 before Hominuck put Edmonton first goal of the game through the legs of Calgary netminder Steve Dietrich. Calgary went up by two but Edmonton came flying back with three goals in 1:24 to close out the first quarter up 4-3, two of them coming from Teat, his second a short-handed tally.

Only four goals were scored in the second quarter, two from Malawksy before Edmonton responded to tie it up, only to see Calgary take a 6-5 lead at the half on a Kelusky goal scored on a two-man advantage with 12.5 seconds remaining.

Pat Campbell came into to get some action in the Roughnecks net for the second half and Edmonton got a pair of goals past him to start the third as Hominuck scored on a long shot four minutes in and then got his hat trick goal two minutes later to put the Rush in the lead at 7-6.

But the Roughnecks came flying back themselves late in the third frame with a pair of goals to go ahead 8-7, with Malawsky’s third of the game the go-ahead goal.

Malawsky notched his fourth of the contest a minute-and-a-half into the fourth and then Calgary restored its two-goal advantage with a short-handed goal by Moleski with six minutes left.

After an Edmonton goal was disallowed on a crease violation Calgary took the game’s first three-goal lead on another shortie, this one from Hall.

A quick Calgary power play goal by Sanderson and the writing was on the wall as Edmonton ran out of time to try and get back into the match.

Notes: It was the third meeting of the season between the two Alberta-based teams. Edmonton won the first contest at home 11-9 on April 5 before Calgary bounced back to win 18-7 on April 12. … In their four previous losses entering their final game of the season, the Rush averaged a paltry six goals for a game while surrendering a whopping 15. … The Rush are now 4-7 since Bob Hamley came in as the new head coach and G.M. … Calgary forward Kaleb Toth’s third quarter goal put him at 250 in his career. … Josh Sanderson, acquired by Calgary from Toronto at the trade deadline, is now just three points short of 700 for his career. … Edmonton’s goaltending tandem of Matt King and Curtis Palidwor helped Calgary win the Champions Cup in 2004. … Jimmy Quinlan was named Edmonton’s MVP in a pre-game ceremony.

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