News and notes for the Roughnecks weekend against the Toronto Rock and Minnesota Swarm
ON A ROLL: Winners of four straight games, the Calgary Roughnecks (4-2) will face a tough task this weekend with back-to-back road games on Friday against the Toronto Rock (5-2) at the Air Canada Centre and the following night versus the Minnesota Swarm (2-3) at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. Against Toronto, the Riggers will be looking to avenge a 13-11 loss they suffered at the hands of the Rock in their home opener at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Jan. 12. “It’s going to be a battle,” Malawsky said. “It’s a good litmus test for our guys to see where we stack up against the top team in the NLL. We’ve improved from the start of the year.” Malawsky then mentioned that the Swarm will have the advantage of rest on their side when Calgary ventures south across the border to face Minnesota at home on Saturday night. “They’re going to be very well prepared,” said the Calgary bench boss. “They’re going to be able to sit back and watch our game and see what we did the night before which will be an advantage for them. We’re a veteran team, so we’ll be ready to go come game time.”
DICKSON DOES IT AGAIN: It’s safe to say that Curtis Dickson loves playing against the Edmonton Rush. Dickson scored his fourth goal of the game with 38.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lead the Calgary Roughnecks to a 9-8 win over the Edmonton Rush last Saturday at the ’Dome. In 10 career regular season games against the Rush, Dickson has a pair of four-goal games in addition to five other hat-trick performances. “It’s the Battle of Alberta,” Dickson said. “It’s a Western Conference opponent. All that wrapped into one makes it an easy game to get up for.” Jeff Shattler scored once and set up two others for the ’Necks, who reeled off their fourth straight victory and second in a row over Edmonton. The Riggers also beat the Rush 18-15 a week earlier in Edmonton at Rexall Place. Calgary goalie Mike Poulin stopped 45 of 53 shots he faced to record his fourth win in a row. “The team’s hot,” Poulin said. “That was a big one for us. We needed to reward the home fans for the great support they’ve given us.” Greg Harnett and Shawn Evans each had a goal and an assist for Calgary in the contest, Joe Resetarits and Mike Carnegie also scored, while Geoff Snider and Aaron Pascas chipped in with three assists each.
COMEBACK CUT SHORT: Against Toronto in their home opener, Calgary fell behind 10-5 by the 6:40 mark of the third quarter. The Riggers then scored five of the next six goals to pull within one at the mid-way mark of the final frame. That’s as close as they would get though as Kasey Beirnes scored a pair of late goals to finish off his hat trick and secure the 13-11 victory for the Rock. “Once we settled down in the second half, things were just gelling,” said Resetarits, who scored his first National Lacrosse League goal and added two assists. “We’ve just got be more sharp and we’ve got to relax a little more. You’re not going to win a championship in one game, so it’s going to be a process the whole year.” Beirnes also had a pair of assists for the Rock, while former Roughneck Josh Sanderson scored twice and set up two others. Netminder Nick Rose, who started last season with the Riggers before being traded to Toronto, played well in the Rock net as he stopped 45 of 56 shots fired his way. Special teams were a factor in the game as the Rock went four-for-six on the power play, while the Riggers scored twice on six chances with the man advantage. Evans paced the Roughnecks offensively with a hat trick and two helpers, while Dickson had two goals and three assists. Daryl Veltman scored once and set up four others, while Pascas had a goal and an assist. Snider, Andrew McBride and Shattler also scored, while Scott Ranger had two assists. Goalie Mike Poulin made 35 saves in a losing cause.
ROUGHNECKS VS. ROCK: The Riggers compiled a 1-1 record against the Rock last season, winning 12-9 in Toronto on Jan. 9 before suffering a 14-13 overtime loss at home on Jan. 28. Dickson led the way offensively for Calgary with 11 points. Dickson had a goal and four assists in the victory before notching a hat trick and three helpers during the setback. Dane Dobbie was also solid with four goals and six assists in the two-game set, while Evans (4g, 4a), Shattler (3g, 5a), Scott Ranger (3g, 4a) and Veltman (3g, 3a) also had strong performances. After recording a goal and an assist for Toronto in the first game, Sanderson notched a hat trick to go with six helpers to lead the Rock to victory in the second game. Garrett Billings (3g, 5a) and Stephan Leblanc (1g, 4a) also played well for the Rock in the two games against the Riggers. Poulin went 1-1 against the Rock, while Toronto netminder Matt Roik also had a win and a loss in the series. The Roughnecks have compiled an all-time regular-season record of 9-15 (5-7 at home, 4-8 on the road) against the Rock.
ROUGHNECKS VS. SWARM: Calgary also went 1-1 against Minnesota last season, losing 15-11 at home on March 3 before rebounding with a 15-10 road win over the Swarm on March 30. Evans paced the Calgary attack against Minnesota last season with two goals and seven assists, while Shattler chipped in by scoring three times to go with four helpers. Snider (4g, 2a), Dickson (4g, 2a), Veltman (2g, 4a), Dobbie (3g, 3a), Ranger (3g, 3a) and Peter McFetridge (2g, 3a) also fared well against the Swarm in 2012. The Riggers will have to be wary of Minnesota forward Callum Crawford, who led all scorers last season with two goals and eight assists in the two-game set. Joel Henry (2g, 6a), Jordan MacIntosh (4g, 3a), Ryan Benesch (4g, 3a in just one game played) and Corbyn Tao (3g, 1a) were also dangerous for the Swarm against the Riggers last season. Poulin went 1-1 against Minnesota last season. Meanwhile, Tyler Carlson made 32 saves to record the win for the Swarm, while Evan Kirk stopped 38-of-53 shots he faced and took the loss when the two teams met later in the season. The Roughnecks have compiled an all-time record of 6-5 (4-3 at home, 2-2 on the road) in the regular season against the Swarm.
DID YOU KNOW?: Dickson has scored three game-winning goals this season, including two against the Rush. Dickson also scored the game winner during Calgary’s 19-12 road win over the Colorado Mammoth on Jan. 25. Snider has the other game-winning tally for the Riggers and he sniped it against his former team, the Philadelphia Wings. Snider’s short-handed tally on Jan. 27 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia stood up as the eventual game winner.
A LOOK BACK: Led by the offensive exploits of Evans and Shattler, the Roughnecks finished atop the 2012 NLL standings with a 12-4 record. In his first year with the Riggers after being acquired from the Rochester Knighthawks, Evans led Calgary in scoring with 32 goals and 47 assists in 16 games played. Shattler followed up a 75-point season in 2011 with 72 points (31g, 41a) in 2012. Veltman (20g, 42a), Ranger (24g, 37a), Dickson (31g, 25a) and Dobbie (28g, 22a) also had solid offensive seasons for the ’Necks. In net, Poulin was a workhorse for the Riggers as he compiled a 10-3 record to go with a 10.27 goals against average and a .789 save percentage. After finishing first in the NLL’s West Division, the Roughnecks hosted the Rush (6-10) in the first round of the playoffs on May 5 and suffered a 19-11 setback to end their season.
RETURNING VETERANS: Captain Andrew McBride leads a group of 19 returning players on Calgary’s roster this year. Joining McBride on defence for another season are Dan MacRae as well as the brother combinations of Mike and Scott Carnegie and Greg and Jon Harnett. Back from last season at forward are Jeff Shattler, Shawn Evans, Curtis Dickson, Daryl Veltman, Dane Dobbie and Scott Ranger. At the transition position, Geoff Snider, Curtis Manning, Travis Cornwall, Nolan Heavenor and Peter McFetridge are all back for the 2013 campaign. Mike Poulin will once again be the starter in between the pipes, while Frankie Scigliano will be counted upon to be a reliable back-up goalie.
NEW FACES: Among the four new faces on the Riggers this season are three of Calgary’s seven 2012 NLL Entry Draft selections: forward Joe Resetarits (first round, sixth overall), transition player Matthew Dinsdale (first round, seventh overall) and forward Jackson Decker (second round, 17th overall). The ’Necks also acquired forward Aaron Pascas from the Toronto Rock in exchange for a draft pick in the off-season.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Nolan Heavenor is five points away from 100.
- Daryl Veltman needs to score five more times to hit the 100-goal mark.
- By scooping up nine more loose balls, Curtis Dickson will reach 100.
- Shawn Evans needs nine goals to hit 200, 10 assists for 300, and 19 points to reach 500.
- Geoff Snider is 14 loose balls away from 1,400.