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Black Wolves Fall To Roughnecks

Calgary – A night that began memorably ended in disappointment as the New England Black Wolves dropped an 18-13 decision to the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday.

Prior to the game, Black Wolves’ assistant coach Tracey Kelusky was honored as the second member of Calgary’s “Forever A Roughneck” Club. His number 17 was retired and hoisted to the rafters at the Scotiabank Saddledome as 10,775 cheered.

And when former Calgary star Shawn Evans scored 43 seconds into the game on assists from Kyle Buchanan and Kevin Crowley, it looked like the Black Wolves (6-7) were on their way to a fourth straight win.

But after four lead changes and five ties in the early going, Tyler Digby and Curtis Dickson scored 21 seconds apart with under two minutes left in the half to give the Roughnecks (5-8) a 7-6 lead at the break.

As it turned out, those two goals sparked an offensive explosion. Beginning with Digby’s goal, the Roughnecks outscored the Blackwolves 9-2. Six different Calgary players scored at least once in that stretch while Dane Doobie had three goals and Wesley Berg scored twice. By the time Doobie scored 3:35 into the fourth quarter, the Roughnecks led 14-8.

New England never serious threatened the rest of the way.

Kyle Buchanan had a career-high five goals, added two assists, and reached 100 career goals with his second score of the night. Evans, who won NLL MVP honors as a member of the Roughnecks in 2013 and 2015, had three goals and four assists. Kevin Buchanan added a goal and four assists while former Calgary draft pick Reilly O’Connor – now in his second season – tied a career high with four assists.

Berg had five goals and four assists to lead the attack while Dickson (three goals, six assists) and Dane Doobie (three goals, four assists) also had hat tricks. Jeff Shattler added two goals and five assists.

New England returns home to host Toronto on Sunday at 1 p.m.