Also adding three assists, Sanderson was named the game's most valuable player.
It was the first time in NLL history that the top
seeded teams from both the West and East Division had made it through
to meet for the Champion's Cup and the marquee matchup did not
The entertaining back-and-forth game featured a mix
of spectacular goals, acrobatic goaltending, and an intensity at both
ends of the floor that left the Pengrowth Saddledome crowd of 13,042
"It was just awesome," said Sanderson.
"We knew we were going to have to fight through some
adversity. We thought we got a little spoiled there 17-5, 15-8 (the
scores in the first two playoff games), we knew that wasn't going to be
the case tonight, they have too many weapons.
"They have an offence like us, they have six guys
that can put the ball in the net so we knew they were going to score a
couple here and there and we just had to bounce back and make sure they
didn't get on a big run."
Tied at one point 1-1, 2-2, 4-4, and 7-7, Calgary
took the lead for good at 1:13 of the fourth quarter when Scott Ranger
slipped into open space and took a perfect feed from Sanderson putting
a high shot past goaltender Matt Vinc.
A rare goal from Codd on a brilliant individual
effort from the defenceman at 4:03 put the Roughnecks ahead 9-7 and
Sanderson fired in his second goal of the night at 7:25 to give the
Roughnecks its biggest lead of the night.
Casey Powell's third and fourth goals at 8:15 and
12:09 for New York set up a frantic final three minutes but the
Roughnecks were able to hang on getting a clutch goal from Mike
Carnegie with 44 seconds remaining.
After pulling Vinc for an extra player while
applying pressure in Calgary's end, Vinc was back on the floor but
couldn't get back in his net in time to stop Carnegie's long shot.
Codd, who only scored once in 16 regular season
games, then added his second of the night into an empty net with 36
seconds left to send the crowd to its feet.
Calgary's only other championship appearance was in 2004 when in the same building they won 14-11 over the Buffalo Bandits.
Kaleb Toth, Curt Malawsky, Tracey Kelusky, and Jeff
Shattler also scored for Calgary. Toth added five assists for a
team-high six points.
New York's other goals came from Brendan Mundorf with a pair, Matt Alrich, Ryan Boyle, Pat Maddalena, and Jordan Hall.
In its third season in the NLL, New York was making its first championship game appearance.
"Congratulations to the Calgary Roughnecks, awesome
job," said New York coach Ed Comeau. "They were the top team all year
and they showed why they were tonight."
Calgary, the NLL's top regular season team, reached
the final on the heels of a two convincing playoff victories - 15-8
over Colorado in the semifinal and 17-5 over San Jose in last
Saturday's West final.
The final would prove to be far more difficult
against a resilient New York team that reached the final with an 11-10
overtime win over Rochester and 9-3 victory last weekend over Buffalo.
Kelusky said the win might finally get Calgary some credit around the league.
"Maybe now we'll get some respect that we are the number one team," said Kelusky.
"When we played Colorado and we beat them so bad,
people said 'Oh Colorado just never showed up.' When we played San
Jose, it was the same thing, 'Oh San Jose, did they really play that
bad?' Not ever credit to the way the Caglary Roughnecks played."
Showing determination all night, trailing 7-5, New York fought back to tie it yet again starting late in the third quarter.
Powell drew the Titans within one at 9:46 of the third quarter scoring on a shot he put through his own legs.
Mundorf tied it up 42 seconds into the fourth quarter
racing around the perimeter of the Calgary defence and whipping a high
shot past Matt King.
"My hat goes off to the New York Titans because they were the best team we played this year," said Kelusky.
"But some credit has to finally go to this Calgary
Roughnecks club because we've been proving to people all year that
we're the best."
A key sequence in the game came in the third quarter.
At 1:58, Hall spun away from Andrew McBride and ripped a shot past Matt King to get the Titans within a goal.
It looked like New York was going to tie it 6-6 when
Hall broke in alone but his hard shot from close in was stopped by King
who acrobatically threw out his right arm.
Shortly after, Dobbie and Toth perfectly executed a
give-and-go in the Titans end with Dobbie taking Toth's return pass and
putting a shot past Vinc at 6:00 to put the Roughnecks ahead 7-5.
Tied 4-4, Calgary struck twice in the final 31
seconds of the second quarter to put an emotional charge into the
Pengrowth Saddledome crowd of 13,042.
First, Sanderson ran hard to the net from the side boards and bounced a shot past goaltender Matt Vinc.
Then, with exactly two seconds left, Calgary had the
ball at centre as the referee whistled in play. Toth immediately took
two strides and ripped a shot from 80-feet out that beat Vinc over his
shoulder at the buzzer sounded sending the crowd and Roughnecks bench
into a frenzy.
Tied 2-2 after the first quarter, Calgary had taken
a 3-2 lead when Shattler picked off a New York pass and ran the length
of the floor to score on a breakaway at 1:18.
After Dobbie put the Roughnecks up by two at 5:58, New York clawed its way back to even at 4-4.
Powell notched a power-play goal at 8:28. Then, after
a nice move to spin away from the coverage of Bruce Codd, Alrich
whipped a low shot past King at 12:00.
King had blanked the San Jose Stealth for the first
45 minutes last Saturday. However, the shutout streak ended with
Maddalena giving New York a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal 1:31 into the
Goals by Kelusky and Malawsky gave the Roughnecks
their first lead before Mundorf scored at 9:58 to tie it 2-2 after the
Calgary's penalty kill, second-worst during the regular season, gave up three goals on five attempts.
Meanwhile, the Roughnecks went 1-for-5 with the extra man.
Calgary outshot New York 50-42.