After two weeks off, the Roughnecks take on the Colorado Mammoth with first place on the line.
The Calgary Roughnecks finally got to spend some time apart from each other.
Since the beginning of December, they’ve spent every weekend together except one and that was a break between the intense training camp and the start of the long regular season.
So last weekend was a godsend for the players, who were able to take a break from the game, and take advantage of some much needed R & R.
“For a soon to be 32 year-old, it was great,” said transition star Geoff Snider. “For other guys, who knows.
“It’s one of those things where it’s rejuvenating. You spend some time relaxing. I know some guys got out of town and spent a tonne of time in the gym and getting healthy.”
Head coach Curt Malawsky added, “It’s just a good time to have that two-week break, kind of charge up your battery and look to fight for a playoff spot. They made sure that they kept their fitness going over the two-week period.”
But the break is over, and it’s time to get ready for the Colorado Mammoth, who come to town on Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Roughnecks at 6-5 hold a two-game advantage of the 4-7 Mammoth, but Colorado has been playing their best lacrosse as of late, winning their last two games over the tough Buffalo Bandits.
The two teams met twice earlier in the season, with each squad picking up a victory.
It means that whoever wins on Saturday night will earn the season series and the tiebreaker that comes with it.
“I think our guys realize the importance,” Malawsky said. “The big thing for us is focusing on ourselves. It’s very important that we get the wins while we can and we get that tiebreaker.”
It’s a different Mammoth team than the Roughnecks saw in January. Both goalies from those games – Matt Roik and Chris Levis – have been sent packing, with Tye Belanger and Dan Lewis coming in.
Belanger was the starting goaltender in the Mammoth’s last two wins.
“We just got to do the little things,” Snider said. “Our 5-on-5 game is really good offensively and defensively. We’ve made a lot of changes discipline wise, cutting down on penalties and we just have to make sure we are willing to work between the lines. That’s where the game is going to be won.”
A win on Saturday night and the Roughnecks would jump back into a tie with the Washington Stealth for first in the West Division.
Only five games remain in the schedule for the Riggers.
“We’re treating these last five games like playoff games,” said Malawsky. “That’s the mentality we’re going in with. What better way to start than (against) one of the top and the hottest teams in the league right now. We’ll be ready to go Saturday night.”
Game time is 7 p.m. on Saturday.