Roughnecks not so super in Dome loss to Black Wolves

There was trouble at the Rough House with the New England Black Wolves lurking about Saturday night.

Not even ‘Superman’ could save the day.

The return of high-flying Curtis Dickson to the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday night was met with a ferocious attack by the visiting Black Wolves at the Saddledome.

Indeed, the visitors spoiled the day by shooting down Dickson and the Riggers 16-10, dropping the Roughnecks to 3-2 on the National Lacrosse League season.

The Black Wolves improved to 2-1 with the victory.

Dickson, who returned to the team Saturday after re-signing a three-year contract with the Roughnecks to end a contract dispute, didn’t score a goal in his return after sitting out the first four games of the season.

“Probably worst case scenario there,” Dickson, a.k.a. ‘Superman,’ said of his return. “It was a bit of a stinker, and I’ve got to take a lot of the blame there. I didn’t come out here ready to play.

“It was a long and painful process,” Dickson continued of the contract talks that kept him out of the lineup for the first four games of the season. “Obviously, it’s not something you want to do after being here for eight years — it was pretty tough watching the guys battle without you. But I’m thankful everything got resolved and I’m back out on the floor.

“I need to get back to producing and helping this team win. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen (Saturday).”

Really only Dane Dobbie was effective enough offensively for the home side, as the league leader in goals added to his total with four on the evening. The NLL veteran now has 15 goals through five games.

Riggers teammates Chris Boushy and Ryan Martel had two apiece in the loss, while Reilly O’Connor paced the Black Wolves with three goals and six assists in the triumph.

The Roughnecks dug themselves an early four-goal hole before Dobbie finally put the hosts on the scoreboard midway through the first quarter. But two more goals by the visitors meant a five-goal hill to climb before Dobbie scored again for the Riggers in what was a 6-2 first-quarter favouring the Black Wolves.

“It was a bit of a catch-game,” said Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky. “We’re playing really well, and it’s a game where you’re coming home and guys are feeling really good, and just the start got away from us, and then we started chasing the whole game.

“You get down like that, and it’s tough.”

Reece Callies scored his first ever NLL goal to draw the Roughnecks within three goals in the second quarter.

But that’s as close as they would get, falling behind 8-3 after two subsequent goals by the Black Wolves.

Not even Dobbie’s third goal of the half — a beauty dive across the crease to beat goaltender Doug Jamieson — could help end what was an ugly first half for the hosts on a positive note, as Dereck Downs rounded out second-quarter scoring to send the teams into the dressing room at halftime with the score 9-4 for the Black Wolves.

Another rough start to the third quarter led to three goals against the Roughnecks, as the Black Wolves’ Stephan Leblanc tallied his second marker of the game as part of the visiting side’s run.

The Roughnecks were able to rally with three straight goals of their own with two beauties from Boushy sandwiched around a Martel marker, but not even Dobbie’s fourth of the contest could carve into what was still a five-goal lead through three quarters.

The fourth quarter saw Martel notch his second of the game for the home side, but the Black Wolves replied with three of their own, including the second of the night for former Roughnecks forward Tyler Digby, who also collected two assists.

Combined with O’Connor’s six points and eight from teammate Callum Crawford, the trio of former Riggers put up 18 points on the scoresheet.

“Those are their gunners — they’re supposed to be big,” said Malawsky, adding Stephan Leblanc and his nine points to the conversation at hand. “Their best players were their best players, and that’s why they won.

“It was just one of those nights — I just didn’t think it was our night, and that’s going to happen in the NLL.”

Riggers forward Dan Taylor rounded out scoring with his career-high seventh goal of the season.

Jamieson faced 53 shots in net for the Black Wolves, while Riggers goalie Christian Del Bianco made 34 in a losing effort.

“They were definitely 100% better team out there,” Dobbie said. “It’s just something we have to learn from. I don’t know what it was. When it comes down to it in this league, you have to bring your A-game. We didn’t bring ours, and they brought theirs.

“We’ve got to bounce back,” Dobbie continued. “We’ve got two divisional games next weekend. And we’ve got to prepare for that.”

Indeed, the Riggers roll out on the road for a pair against the San Diego Gulls on Friday (8 p.m.) and against the Colorado Mammoth on Sunday (5 p.m.).

Dickson’s hoping he can help contribute in both games — hopefully victories.

“I didn’t want it to be about me,” Dickson added. “I wanted it to be about this team that’s been playing well. But as a unit, we didn’t have it going. This team was playing well when I was out, and I didn’t want to plug myself back in and make it all about myself. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.”

tsaelhof@postmedia.com

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