News and notes from the Roughnecks as they prepare for Friday night's game against the Minnesota Swarm
LOOKING TO REBOUND: The Calgary Roughnecks (5-5) will look to return to their winning ways when they host the Minnesota Swarm (3-6) at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night (7 p.m.). The Riggers have lost two straight games, including an 18-13 setback to the Edmonton Rush at the ’Dome on Kaleb Toth Night last Saturday. Meanwhile, the Swarm will also be looking to snap out of a two-game losing skid against the ’Necks on Friday. “Everybody knows they’re a pretty good transition team,” said Calgary assistant coach Bob McMahon on the Swarm. “We’re just going to have to control the tempo of the game a little bit and sort of control the runs.” To do that, McMahon said that the Riggers will have to work hard to make smarter decisions on offence. “We have to possess the ball,” McMahon said. “We have to be cognizant of the shot clock. We have to take intelligent shots and just not give them an opportunity to grab loose balls and run. They’re such an athletic and young, good team. They are going to get their chances. We just have to minimize them.”
STOPPED BY THE RUSH: Supporters of the Roughnecks will always remember March 2 as the night Kaleb Toth was recognized as the first recipient of the “Forever A Roughneck” distinction for a franchise player. Those same fans will also likely chose to forget the game that followed the pre-game ceremony on Kaleb Toth Night. Shortly after a banner featuring Toth’s image was raised to the rafters at the ’Dome, the Riggers fell 18-13 to the Rush in front of 11,385 fans. The setback ended Calgary’s 12-game regular season winning streak against Edmonton. Ryan Ward led the Rush with two goals and eight assists, while Zack Greek and Mark Matthews notched three goals and an assist each. Daryl Veltman had a goal and seven assists for the Riggers, while Jeff Shattler notched a hat trick and three helpers. Joe Resetarits, Shawn Evans and Dane Dobbie had two goals and two assists each, while Curtis Dickson also scored twice. Greg Harnett notched his second goal of the season, Scott Ranger set up three goals, while Matthew Dinsdale had two assists. Edmonton goalie Aaron Bold stopped 27-of-40 shots he faced to backstop the Rush to the victory, while Calgary goalies Mike Poulin and Frankie Scigliano combined to make 30 saves.
NARROW VICTORY: The last time the Riggers faced off against the Swarm on Feb. 16 at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, MN, Dickson scored three short-handed goals, including the game-winner, in the fourth quarter to lead Calgary to a narrow 17-16 victory over Minnesota. Evans notched 11 points (2g, 9a) during the win, while Ranger had six goals and two assists. Dobbie (3g, 2a) and Dickson (3g, 1a) both finished with hat tricks, while Shattler (2g, 3a) and Nolan Heavenor (1g) also scored. In addition to making 27 saves to record the win, Poulin set up three goals. Ryan Benesch had a hat trick and three helpers for the Swarm, while Jordan MacIntosh had a goal and five assists. Shayne Jackson (2g, 3a), Kiel Matisz (2g, 3a), David Earl (2g, 2a), Joel Henry (2g) and Corbyn Tao (1g, 4a) were also dangerous for Minnesota. Swarm goalies Tyler Carlson and Evan Kirk combined to make 40 saves in a losing cause.
ON THE VERGE: In just three seasons, Dickson has now tied Tracey Kelusky for the franchise lead in all-time short-handed goals at 12. He has six short-handed goals this season and is one away from matching the NLL single-season record, which is shared by three players including former Washington forward Jeff Zywicki, who accomplished the feat in 2008 when he was a member of the San Jose Stealth.
ROUGHNECKS VS. SWARM: Calgary went 1-1 against Minnesota during the 2012 NLL campaign, 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. Geoff 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. Henry (2g, 6a), MacIntosh (4g, 3a), Benesch (4g, 3a in just one game played) and Tao (3g, 1a) were also dangerous for the Swarm against the Riggers last season. Poulin went 1-1 against Minnesota last season. Meanwhile, Carlson made 32 saves to record the win for the Swarm, while 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 7-5 (4-3 at home, 3-2 on the road) in the regular season against the Swarm.
MOUSE’S MUSINGS: Curt Malawsky took over as the sixth head coach in Roughnecks’ history prior to the start of the 2013 season. After last Saturday’s loss to the Rush, Malawsky said the ’Necks will have to learn from their mistakes if they hope to improve upon their 5-5 record. “We’re making mistakes and they’re ending up in the back of our net at this point,” Malawsky said. “We just have to curb those mistakes and take care of our own backyard and we’ll be fine. It’s a learning process.” Malawsky is being assisted by Bob McMahon as offence coordinator and Bruce Codd as defence coordinator this season. It’s the third season for McMahon on the Calgary coaching staff, while Codd joined the Riggers this season.
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, the 2012 NLL Goaltender of the Year, 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.
DID YOU KNOW?: With the addition of Resetarits and Dinsdale, the Riggers now have eight of their own first-round picks on their roster. The others are Cornwall (seventh overall in 2011), Dickson (third overall in 2010), MacRae (sixth overall in 2010), Manning (sixth overall in 2008), Dobbie (fourth overall in 2007) and McFetridge (10th overall in 2007). The ’Necks also have four other first round picks who were originally selected by other teams: Veltman (1st overall in 2008 by the Boston Blazers), Snider (fourth overall in 2006 by the Philadelphia Wings), Shattler (10th overall in 2005 by the Buffalo Bandits) and Ranger (seventh overall in 2003 by the San Jose Stealth).
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Curtis Dickson is now tied with Tracey Kelusky for the franchise lead in all-time short-handed goals at 12. He’s also one away from matching the NLL single-season record of seven short-handed goals in one year.
- Daryl Veltman needs to score three more times to hit the 100-goal mark.
- Nolan Heavenor is four points away from 100.
- Shawn Evans needs three goals to hit 200.
- Geoff Snider is 11 goals away from 100.
- With 19 more points, Scott Ranger will reach 400.