On “Black-Out” night San Diego Seals goalie Frank Scigliano “Blocked Out” the visiting Calgary Roughnecks.
Scigliano made 50 saves and allowed just four goals, lowering his already league-leading goals-against average and helping the Seals to maintain their position on top of the Western Conference of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). Scigliano’s stellar play, combined with enough offense from Wesley Berg, Austin Staats, and Co., gave the Seals a 9-4 win on Friday night.
The game started extremely shakily for both teams, as neither team could get into a rhythm, and they just traded early turnovers.
Calgary found itself on the power play after Scigliano was penalized for roughing, but Scigliano quickly made up for the penalty with multiple stellar stops, helping the Seals, who have the best penalty kill in the NLL, make it even better. After nearly nine minutes, the Seals finally broke the deadlock in stunning fashion. As the 30-second shot clock ticked down, Seals forward Zack Greer fired a shot from an extremely acute angle that somehow found its way between Roughnecks goalie Christian Del Bianco and the post, giving the Seals the lead.
The Seals advantage was doubled just over two minutes later when Wesley Berg scored after a lovely passing play between Berg, Tre Leclaire, and Austin Staats. Staats appeared to have added another late in the quarter, but after video review, the ball was deemed to have not crossed the line.
The Seals found themselves on the penalty kill early in the second period as well, after Eli Gobrecht was sent to the box for cross-checking.
The Roughnecks did find their first goal of the night, as Curtis Dickson, who leads Calgary in goals, scored while the Roughnecks found themselves on the power play. Both teams committed penalties within 30 seconds of each either, leading to some four-on-four play, as well as limited time for each time on the power play, but neither team was able to find a goal.
San Diego restored their two-goal advantage courtesy of Wesley Berg’s second goal of the night. Berg dove spectacularly in front of goal, before firing the shot in from behind his back, to raucous applause from the Seals fans. San Diego found itself in the penalty box for the fourth time late in the quarter, but the Roughnecks were unable to take advantage. The Roughnecks did challenge a call of no goal, which was taken off the board due to Calgary’s player having a foot in the crease. The Roughnecks outshot the Seals by 11 shots in the first half, but the penalty kill and Scigliano’s splendid play kept them in the lead.
Calgary struggled for discipline in the second half, committing two penalties in the first seven minutes of the quarter, but the Seals failed to take advantage; instead, the opposite happened. Shane Simpson broke free, firing it past Scigliano to bring the Roughnecks back within one, despite Calgary being short-handed. It took just over two minutes for Austin Staats to put the Seals back ahead by two, throwing off multiple Roughnecks before firing the ball into the net.
Jeremy Noble then extended the Seals lead again, scoring his 100th career goal in the process. Noble then found himself in the penalty box for tripping under a minute later, but the Seals managed to kill the penalty.
The fourth period proved to be not much more than icing on the cake for the Seals.
Wesley Berg scored to complete his hat trick before Austin Staats scored the seventh goal of the night for the Seals. Dane Dobbie assisted Staats’ goal, giving him a hat trick of assists, and he added a goal of his own on the very next Seals possession. Noble picked up a hat trick of assists after being the secondary assist on Dobbie’s goal.
The night got even better for Scigliano, as the Seals were given a penalty for holding, leading to a penalty shot for the Roughnecks as it occurred on the break. Scigliano kept the penalty shot out, helping him on the way to 50 saves. The Roughnecks did score a pair of consolation goals, but the Seals kept them at arms length throughout the quarter. San Diego captain Brodie Merrill capped the night with an empty-net goal from across the length of the field, putting the cherry on top of a splendid night for the Seals.
Wesley Berg took home the second star for his offensive performance, while Frank Scigliano deservingly took home the first star honors. The Roughnecks went just one for six on the power play, which was huge for the Seals to make the win comfortable.
The Seals’ win will see them stay either a half-game ahead of the Colorado Mammoth or extend the lead to a game and a half, depending on the Mammoth’s game Saturday night. They’ll take on the Saskatchewan Rush on Friday night.