The Roughnecks will face a tough task this weekend with back-to-back games.
BUSY WEEKEND: Winners of three straight contests, the Calgary Roughnecks will face a tough task this weekend with back-to-back games against the Minnesota Swarm and the Washington Stealth. The Roughnecks (8-3) will hit the road for Friday night’s game against the Swarm (5-5) before returning home to the friendly confines of the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday where they’ll face the Stealth (4-8). Thanks to a 17-6 win at home over the Buffalo Bandits last Saturday, the Riggers have already clinched a National Lacrosse League playoff berth. “I think we played a pretty good complete game from the pipes to our D to our transition to our O,” said Calgary coach Dave Pym of his squad’s convincing win over the Bandits.
HAT TRICK HEAVEN: A trio of players had hat-trick performances in Calgary’s win over Buffalo last Saturday. Dane Dobbie had a hat trick and three helpers, Scott Ranger scored three times and set up another, while Curtis Dickson also had a three-goal performance to go with one assist. Pym also commended Calgary’s defence and goalie Mike Poulin, who finished with 27 saves, for keeping Buffalo’s offence in check. “Any time you can hold a team to six goals in this league it’s phenomenal and to put up the numbers that we did is even better,” Pym said. Shawn Evans scored twice and added seven assists for the ’Necks, while Daryl Veltman (2g, 5a), Jeff Shattler (1g, 3a), Mike Carnegie (1g, 1a), Peter McFetridge (1g), Travis Cornwall (1g) and Kaleb Toth (2a) also got in on the action. Luke Wiles led the way for Buffalo with a hat trick and two assists, while John Tavares also had a three-goal performance in the losing cause. Anthony Cosmo started in net for Buffalo but was replaced by Mike Thompson after allowing 11 goals on 16 shots in the first quarter. Thompson made 40 saves in a relief appearance.
STREAK SNAPPED: The Roughnecks were also riding a three-game winning streak into their last game against Minnesota when they suffered a 15-11 setback at home to the Swarm on March 3. “They’re a fantastic young team with a lot of youthful exuberance and they have an incredible offence that loves to move the ball,” Pym said. “We have to be at our best. We’ve got to raise the bar this week.” With four goals and three assists, Ryan Benesch led the Swarm attack the last time the two teams met. After missing three games with an upper-body injury, Dobbie returned to Calgary’s lineup and counted two goals and two assists. Ranger and McFetridge tallied two goals and an assist each, while Evans scored once and set up four others. Veltman and Cory Conway notched a goal and two assists each, while Dickson and Geoff Snider also scored. Poulin and rookie Frankie Scigliano split time in the Calgary net. Scigliano stopped eight of 13 shots he faced. Poulin, who stopped Minnesota forward Callum Crawford’s penalty-shot attempt late in the fourth quarter, finished with 36 saves. Despite being denied on the penalty shot, Crawford had a strong game for the Swarm with two goals and four assists. Jordan MacIntosh, Andrew Suitor and Kevin Ross chipped in with two goals each, while Richard Morgan, Jay Card and Corbyn Tao also scored for Minnesota. Rookie netminder Tyler Carlson made 32 saves.
ROUGHNECKS VS. SWARM: Calgary went 1-1 against Minnesota last season. Following a 15-12 win over Minnesota at home on April 1, the Roughnecks lost 13-8 to the Swarm on the road the next night. Toth led the way offensively for the Riggers with three goals and eight assists during the home-and-home affair. Dobbie scored four times and added six assists, while Conway (4g, 5a), Veltman (2g, 7a), Dickson (2g, 4a) and Shattler (3g, 2a) also performed well. Aaron Wilson, who’s now with the Edmonton Rush, had five goals and five assists for Minnesota in the two-game set against Calgary last season, while Benesch also put up 10 points with four goals and six assists. Crawford had four goals and two assists, while Ross scored twice and set up three others. Calgary has an all-time record of 5-5 (4-3 at home, 1-2 on the road) in the regular season against Minnesota. The two teams have never met in the playoffs.
SHATTLER SHINES: Shattler scored four times to lead the Roughnecks to the 12-11 win over the Stealth in Everett, Wash., on Feb. 10. Shattler’s fourth goal of the contest was the 100th of his NLL career. The reigning league MVP and Transition Player of the Year also had an assist for a five-point performance. “That was a great win for our team,” Shattler said. “It shows the character on our team and how we could battle.” With a goal and five assists during the victory, Ranger also set a career milestone as he surpassed the 300-point plateau in points for his career. The Riggers also beat the Stealth 13-10 in Everett on Jan. 14 as Dobbie led the way with a hat trick. Shattler scored twice and added four assists, while Snider had a goal and two assists in addition to collecting 17 loose balls and going 17-for-26 in the faceoff circle. Curtis Manning, Dickson and Ranger each had two goals and an assist, while captain Andrew McBride chipped in with his first goal of the season. Poulin made 49 saves to record the win.
DYNAMIC DEBUT: In his first NLL appearance in between the pipes, Scigliano stopped 34-of-39 shots he faced to record the win over Washington on Feb. 10. Scigliano replaced starting goalie Mike Poulin in net in the second quarter after Poulin surrendered six goals on 17 shots. Evans scored twice and added three assists in the victory, while Dickson scored twice and had an assist. Veltman also had two goals, while Snider added a single. The Riggers fired an impressive 71 shots at Stealth goalie Tyler Richards, who finished with 59 saves in the losing cause. Former Roughneck Lewis Ratcliff led the Stealth attack with four goals and three assists, while Brent Bucktooth had a hat trick and a helper. Rhys Duch had a goal and six assists, while Mike Grimes, Cliff Smith, and Cam Sedgwick also scored for the Stealth.
ROUGHNECKS VS. STEALTH: The Riggers went 2-1 in the regular season against Washington last year before suffering a disappointing 10-8 loss at home on May 7 in the 2011 West Final to the Stealth. Calgary beat Washington 13-11 in Everett on Jan. 9 before the Stealth rebounded with a 19-14 win over Calgary at the ’Dome on Jan. 22. Calgary then took the season series with a 17-13 road win over Washington on March 13 before the Stealth got its revenge in the post-season. In the three regular-season games, Shattler led Calgary’s offensive attack with 10 goals and six assists, while Ranger scored six times and set up nine others. Dobbie had nine goals and five assists in the three-game set, while Veltman (3g, 9a), Toth (6g, 5a) and Conway (1g, 9a) also hit double digits. Duch led Washington with 19 points on eight goals and 11 assists, while Ratcliff (9g, 9a) and Sedgwick (4g, 7a) were also dangerous for the Stealth. In the West Final, Ratcliff haunted his former squad by leading the Stealth to victory with three goals and four assists. Jeff Zywicki also played well for Washington with a hat trick and three helpers. Veltman scored twice in the losing cause for the Roughnecks, while Ranger (1g, 4a), Dobbie (1g, 3a), Shattler (1g, 2a), Toth (1g, 2a), Dickson (1g, 1a) and Snider (1g) also scored. Richards made 44 saves to record the win, while Poulin stopped 43-of-53 shots he faced at the other end of the floor.
DID YOU KNOW?: Since the Stealth relocated from San Jose to Washington State prior to the start of the 2009 season, the Roughnecks have won all five regular-season games they have played at the Comcast Arena in Everett. Conversely, the Stealth has gone 3-0 on the road in games played at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Over the previous six seasons before the move, the Roughnecks had compiled a 9-7 record against the San Jose Stealth (3-4 at home, 6-3 on the road).
TRADE WINDS: On March 19, the Roughnecks traded goaltender Nick Rose and a conditional second-round selection in the 2014 NLL Entry Draft to the Toronto Rock in exchange for Toronto’s first-round pick in the 2014 NLL Entry Draft. “As an organization we are committed to continuing to build our team through draft picks,” commented Calgary General Manager Mike Board. “Having three goalies made it difficult to provide necessary playing time to develop our younger talent. This trade allows us to commit to our starter, Mike Poulin, and rookie Frankie Scigliano heading down the stretch.” The Roughnecks acquired Rose in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2011 Boston Blazers Dispersal Draft. This season the Orangeville, Ontario, native, dressed for five games with Calgary and registered 17 saves in two relief appearances for a total of just under 33 minutes played. In his first game with the Rock on Saturday in Rochester, Rose held the Knighthawks scoreless for almost 30 minutes at one point and finished with 28 saves on 35 shots to lead Toronto to a 13-7 win. For his efforts, Rose was named as the NLL’s Defensive Player of the Week.
ROSTER ADDITIONS: The Riggers have added goaltender Matt King and defenceman Matt Leveque to the practice roster. King, a native of Victoria, British Columbia, previously played four seasons with the Roughnecks and was part of the 2004 and 2009 championship squads. In 2009, King dressed for all 16 regular season games plus all three playoff contests, boasting seven regular season wins and three post-season victories to help earn Calgary the Champion’s Cup. The 31-year-old was recently released by the Washington Stealth where he dressed for three games this season. Leveque, a resident of Langley, British Columbia, was released by the Colorado Mammoth earlier this season. During the summer, Leveque was the captain of the Langley Thunder who won the 2011 Western Lacrosse Association championship and hosted the 2011 Mann Cup.
VETERAN ROSTER: Captain Andrew McBride leads a group of 18 returning vets on Calgary’s roster this year. The Roughnecks are also pleased to welcome back Jeff Shattler, Dane Dobbie, Scott Ranger, Curtis Dickson, Cory Conway, Daryl Veltman and Kaleb Toth at forward. Joining McBride on defence are the brother tandems of Mike and Scott Carnegie and Jon and Greg Harnett (the latter of whom is a rookie), along with Mike Kilby and Dan MacRae. Veteran Ryan McNish has also played two games this season with the Riggers on defence. Transition players Nolan Heavenor, Peter McFetridge, Curtis Manning and Geoff Snider are also back in the fold along with Mike Poulin in goal. The Roughnecks also acquired forward Shawn Evans from the Rochester Knighthawks in the offseason and the veteran forward has fit in nicely. Three of Calgary’s five picks from the 2011 NLL Entry Draft also earn spots on this year’s roster: transition player Travis Cornwall (first round, seventh overall), defenceman Greg Harnett (second round, 11th overall) and goalie Frankie Scigliano (second round, 18th overall).
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Scott Ranger needs to play three more games to reach 100.
- Curtis Dickson is four points away from reaching the 100 plateau in just his second season in the NLL. Meanwhile, Nolan Heavenor is eight points away from reaching the same milestone.
- Kaleb Toth is two assists shy of 400. Toth also needs just five more loose balls to reach 800.
- In his sixth NLL campaign, Geoff Snider needs just nine points to reach 200.
- Daryl Veltman needs to score 12 more times to hit the 100-goal mark.
- Jeff Shattler, a veteran of six seasons with the Roughnecks, is 18 points shy of 300.