Week two of the NLL season features our first rematch of the season. The Vancouver Warriors upset the Calgary Roughnecks in their barn last week, can the Necks return the favour this week? You probably already know the score but tis the season for game reports to run late. Wherever you are and whatever festivities you celebrate during this time, if you have too many “festivities” please don’t drink and drive.

What the hell were the Roughnecks thinking on the Warriors first goal? Everyone stopped to look at the ref to confirm the moving screen call and stood still. Clear cut breakaway for the team moving its legs and Colton Porter etches his name into the Vancouver record books with the first home franchise goal. Just like last week when the Warriors scored first the Roughnecks tied the game with a goal through Aaron Bold’s legs.

Tyler Pace disappeared (like so many other Roughnecks did) in the second half of their opener after a strong start. He is off to strong start tonight with a goal on his second shot of the period only mere minutes into the game. 2-1 Calgary.

After the teams go three consecutive possessions with errant passes stalling the offence, the Warriors take a long shot on Christian Del Bianco. Last week Del Bianco seemed lost in his crease letting balls get through him and around him. Tonight so far he has squared up for each shot he has faced. This is the goaltending I expect to see from him.

Mitch Jones with the powerplay goal after only 16 seconds. A 38 goal scorer last season, Jones was acquired in a trade to accommodate Corey Small’s request to move. Smallsy scored 5 in week one and 1 in week two. This comparison won’t go away.

Rhys Duch with the classic over-the-shoulder-behind-the-back pass to set up the Pace powerplay goal. Hopefully Vancouver learned its lesson from last week and stays out of the box. 3-2 Calgary.

Something that makes me giggle every time is the goaltender patting his crossbar after it makes a huge save. If lacrosse nets drank, Del Bianco is buying the first round.

Really impressed with the Warriors defence in that opening quarter. They forced the Roughnecks to stay to the outside, caused many passes to miss their mark and were able to pick off a couple passes and block a couple shots. Blocked shots in lacrosse is not a category you mindfully try to be the leader in. A lacrosse ball hurts much more on a bare leg than a puck on a shin guard. Dane Dobbie shredded the Warrior “D” week one was practically invisible so far. After one, 3-2 Necks lead.

Warriors start the 2nd quarter with another post. Rebound leads to Eli Salama to a fast break opportunity. Halama in because Tyson Bell is out.

Warriors 2nd powerplay scores quicker than their first powerplay did. Jones then puts the home team up 4-3 the possession after Duch had a Necks goal taken off the board for being in the crease.

Double team on Dobbie creates a turnover and Zack Porter is off to the races. Del Bianco is 0-for-2 in the breakaway save department (and that’s okay in this sport). 5-3 Warriors.

Warriors 3rd powerplay scores in 10 seconds. The trend of scoring early in the manpower advantages is getting to the point where one wonders if they will just award them a goal. I kid, I kid! The Necks will use this as fodder for their practice ahead of their next game. Riggers coach Curt Malwasky throws the flag for a review. The way he used it as a timeout to yell at his boys to, and I’m paraphrasing, pull their heads out of their butts is a brilliant manipulation of the rules to slow things down for his team. 6-3 Warriors.

The first Calgary offensive possession after the timeout ending in a time count violation is not awe inspiring. Their next possession went down to a last second shot at Bold’s pads where the intention was more to create a rebound and a fresh clock than score. If you didn’t want to credit Vancouver’s defence in the first quarter, you need throw them some credit halfway through this 2nd quarter.

Pffft, the Roughnecks needed over 20 seconds to score on their powerplay. Ironically the retaliatory penalty taken by the Warriors is because Brandon Goodwin didn’t realize his goaltender went down on contact to try to draw a Roughneck penalty and not because he was legitimately hit. 6-4 Warriors.

Necks tie up the game at 6 with both respective goal scorers wearing the Warriors Zac Porter. Wowsers a save on the penalty kill. Good job Del Bianco. One more save later and we have our first penalty kill of the evening.

Screenshot B/R Live

1st Roughnecks shot of the 2nd half, through the legs of Bold. It’s that first shot of the game or coming out of half that always seems to find his 5-hole. 1:04 into the half, 3 possessions, 3 Roughneck goals. 9-6.

Coming out of a TV timeout Coach Malwasky is asked about how to protect the league. “We played to protect the lead last week and that’s why we lost”. As much as I hate these in-game interviews I do appreciate the rare blunt answer you get.

5 minutes into the 3rd quarter Keegan Bal sneaks behind the transitioning Neck defence for a short breakaway chance. Del Bianco with his best save of the year. A few minutes later Bal tried the dirty behind the back shot was too deep in the zone for it to be a truly good scoring opportunity.

After a wonderful penalty kill by the Warriors, the Necks score as Owen Barker is re-joining the play. That is the definition of the proverbial kick in the face. 3rd quarter ends 10-6 for Calgary. The compliments that flowed in the first half about the Warriors defence must now be directed at the Roughnecks defence as they pitched a shutout. Del Bianco only had to make the one challenging save and faced only one other shot from within ten feet.

A classic Todd Labranche moment opened up the 4th quarter.

Warriors with another solid penalty kill. With Beers joining the play from the box he scores and snaps the 26 minute-26 second scoreless streak. A too many men penalty on the Warriors hurts as Riley Loewen scores on the powerplay making 11-7 Necks.

Disagreeing with the referee on a penalty call behind the play is fine. After that penalty has been announced to the crowd, earning yourself a penalty for refusing to shut up is just plain dumb. Here’s a difference between hockey and lacrosse - a 5-on-3 in hockey all 5 players will attack. In lacrosse one player hangs back in the neutral zone to protect against the transition game. Zach Currier owes Del Bianco a beer after the game for a couple saves and being the best penalty killer on the floor.

28 seconds after the  5-on-3 penalty kill Loewen finishes the hat trick to make it 12-7. As unlikely as last weeks comeback was, it seems impossible tonight for one reason. Necks goalie Del Bianco is a brick wall this week whereas last week he was a straw house.

Penalty trouble starting to creep in for the Warriors. Powerplay goal number four makes it 13-7.

With the score 14-8 with 4:08 remaining, the Warriors fans begin throwing socks onto floor (halftime promo for charity). Not many socks hit the floor but the pace of them hitting the floor delayed the game enough that the referee penalized the team. With just under a minute to go following a little scrum leading to a Jones penalty more socks hit the floor. Shake my head, I hope the Warriors front office scratches every other halftime testing item. Only takes a few idiots to ruin the fun for everyone.

The Roughnecks get the win they figured they had in the bag last week. My “favorite” Warrior from last week Logan Schuss was held to one goal. Not so bold prediction, Vancouver will not win any games that Schuss only scores once.

screenshot B/R Live
The Not-so Technical Calgary Roughnecks vs Vancouver Warriors Rematch Report
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