Following a disappointing 13-12 overtime loss to the Mammoth, the two teams battle again, this time in Denver
The perks of home games for the Calgary Roughnecks (0-2) are endless: playing in front of thousands of fans cheering you on, better control of team plans, the ability for some players to sleep in their own beds, and many more.
But there is one concern – your mind can be in a thousand different places at one time.
Compare that to when the Roughnecks are on the road, like this weekend’s doubleheader starting with a rematch against the Colorado Mammoth (0-1) on Friday before flying east to the Philadelphia Wings (2-0) for a Sunday matinee. All they have to do is focus on the actual game. No distractions. Just plain ol’ lacrosse.
“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves at home. We love our fans. We want to put on an entertaining product for our fans,” said captain Andrew McBride. “Sometimes you start gripping the stick harder when things start going wrong.
“When you’re on the road, it’s straight lacrosse. You’re not worrying about your job, your wife, your kids, or even driving to the rink.
“Everyone is together on the bus, everyone is doing the team meal together and you are able to just focus on that. It’ll be a good roadtrip for us.”
Head coach Curt Malawsky agrees, adding it’s good to create the team comradery this early in the season.
“It’s always good to move around after a couple of losses,” Malawsky explained. “There is quite a few distractions at home at time so it’s nice to gel together on the road and what better place to do it than on the road in a hostile environment like Colorado.”
Redemption will be on the mind for the Roughnecks on Friday. On the front end of the home and home series last weekend, Calgary held the lead for about 56 minutes of the game. Unfortunately, the Mammoth tied it up with 80 seconds left, and picked up the victory six minutes into overtime.
“They earned that win,” Malawsky said. “We made some key mistakes at the end of the game but those team mistakes were forced by them. We didn’t execute when we had the opportunity to execute.”
Shawn Evans led the way last week for the Roughnecks, with three goals and seven points, while Mammoth’s offence ran through John Grant Jr. who notched six goals and a pair of helpers along the way.
“We’ve got an opportunity to bounce back right away,” said Geoff Snider, who was his typical ace on the faceoff dot last game, winning 22 of 25 draws while scooping up two goals and a helper.
“We get to move forward and just build. We’re right in these games. I don’t think we’ve played close to the way tat we can play yet. I think that’s a real positive thing.”
Second-year defender Greg Harnett will likely make his season debut after being activated from the injured reserve. Defender Brad Richardson was released to make room on the roster.
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