Tracey Kelusky's return to Calgary turned out to be a happier one for his old team, the Roughnecks, than his new team, the Buffalo Bandits.
Calgary never trailed in the game as it defeated the Bandits, 10-9, in the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night. The game marked the opener of the National Lacrosse League season for both teams.
Kelusky, who spent eight seasons playing for the Roughnecks, was honored in a pregame ceremony. He had 539 points in his time in Calgary, where he led that team to two championships.
Curtis Dickson opened the game with a goal for Calgary only 16 seconds into the contest. Ironically, Dickson was wearing uniform number 17, which had been worn with distinction by Kelusky for eight seasons. Then Kelusky answered with a goal about a minute later to tie the score.
From there, though, the Roughnecks were in charge most of the way. Scott Ranger of Calgary had five goals in the game -- all in the first half. Dickson added two goals in his first game in the NLL.
Calgary saw a three-goal halftime lead shrink to 9-8 through three quarters. The Roughnecks slammed the door on the Buffalo offense until the final 17 seconds, when Kyle Clancy made it a one-goal game. But the Bandits couldn't get one last possession at the end of the game.
While much of the preseason attention concerning the Bandits' offense centered on standouts Kelusky, Mark Steenhuis and John Tavares, it was Roger Vyse who was the offensive star of the game on Saturday. Vyse, trying to rebound from a poor 2010, had two goals and four assists to lead the Bandits.
Steenhuis had two goals. Other scorers for Buffalo were Scott Self, Frank Resetarits, and Chris Corbeil.
The Bandits took 65 shots on Mike Poulin, while the Roughnecks had 48 shots on Mike Thompson.
The Bandits play in Philadelphia next Saturday.