News and notes as the Roughnecks prepare for a home-and-home series with the Washington Stealth
PIVOTAL SERIES: The Calgary Roughnecks (7-5) will play a pivotal home-and-home series with the Washington Stealth (7-5) over the next two weekends. The Riggers will travel to Everett, Wash., to play the Stealth on Saturday at the Comcast Arena before the two teams face off against each other in a rematch at the Scotiabank Saddledome on April 6. “We’re looking at the Stealth and they’ve got a very, very strong team,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky, who wasn’t impressed with his team’s effort the last time the two teams met when the Stealth beat the ’Necks 16-14 at home on Feb. 23. “This is a massive game. Last time we were down there, they put it to us. The score was flattering in my mind. They beat us in all aspects of the game. We’ve got our work cut out for us. We’ve done a lot of preparation over the week and we’re hoping to give them a better show down there (than) last time.” With his team coming off of a bye week, Washington coach Chris Hall said the Stealth will face a tough task against the Riggers, who rallied to beat the Colorado Mammoth 12-11 in overtime last Saturday night. “Back-to-back with Calgary at this point in the season is going to be a real test,” Hall said. “They’ve got a phenomenal offence and very tough to handle. Obviously the focus is to try to win to clinch a playoff spot. We know Calgary is a tough, hot team. We’ve got lots to prepare for.”
SUPERMAN HEROIC IN OT: Curtis ‘Superman’ Dickson scored 21 seconds into overtime to lead the Roughnecks to a wild 12-11 win over the Mammoth last Saturday night. The Riggers trailed 7-2 late in the second quarter before mounting a furious comeback to send the 9,493 fans at the ’Dome home happy. “Coach Curt kicked our butts a bit and kind of picked us up,” said Dickson, who finished the game with four goals and an assist. “Obviously it worked. We came out and played a lot better and came away with the win.” Shawn Evans had three goals and seven helpers to pace Calgary’s offensive attack. “We dug deep and we worked hard and came out with the win,” Evans said. Dane Dobbie scored twice and set up four others, while Jeff Shattler had a goal and two assists. Geoff Snider and Scott Ranger also scored, while Daryl Veltman had three assists. Netminder Mike Poulin stopped 32 of 43 shots he faced to record the win.
COMEBACK NOT ENOUGH: Despite firing eight goals in the fourth quarter, the Riggers still suffered a 16-14 road setback to the Stealth on Feb. 23. Down 12-6 heading into the final frame, the ’Necks rallied to tie up the contest 13-13 before the Stealth scored three late goals to seal the victory. Shattler led the Riggers with three goals and three assists, while Dickson also had a hat trick to go with an assist. Evans (2g, 4a), Dobbie (2g, 3a), Snider (1g, 1a), Veltman (1g, 1a) and Ranger (2a) also had multiple-point performances, while rookies Joe Resetarits and Matthew Dinsdale each scored once. For Dinsdale, it was his first-ever NLL goal. Rhys Duch led the Stealth attack with three goals and seven assists, while Athan Iannucci (4g, 3a) and former Roughneck Lewis Ratcliff (1g, 6a) chipped in with seven points apiece.
DID YOU KNOW?: Since the Stealth relocated from San Jose to Washington prior to the start of the 2009 season, the Roughnecks have gone 5-1 in games they played at the Comcast Arena in Everett. Conversely, the Stealth has gone 3-1 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).
ROUGHNECKS VS. STEALTH: The Riggers were a perfect 3-0 against the Stealth last season as they beat Washington twice at the Comcast Arena in Everett (13-10 on Jan. 14 and 12-11 on Feb 10) before also prevailing 13-11 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on March 31. Shattler led the way offensively for the Riggers against the Stealth with nine goals and six assists, while Ranger scored seven times and set up seven others in the three-game set. Although he played in just two of the games against Washington, Dobbie still managed to put up six goals and four assists. Other top contributors for Calgary were Evans (3g, 6a), Veltman (2g, 6a) and Dickson (5g, 2a). Poulin backstopped the ’Necks to a pair of victories against the Stealth, while fellow Calgary netminder Frankie Scigliano earned the other win. Duch paced the Stealth attack against the Riggers with six goals and 11 assists in three games, while Ratcliff was also dangerous as he scored five times and added 11 helpers. In just one game against Calgary last season, Iannucci had four goals and one assist for the Stealth. Washington goalie Tyler Richards played all three games against Calgary and stopped a total of 150 shots despite taking all three losses. The Roughnecks have compiled an all-time regular-season record of 6-4 (1-3 at home, 5-1 on the road) against the Washington Stealth.
MOUSE’S MUSINGS: Curt Malawsky, whose nickname is ‘Mouse’, took over as the sixth head coach in Roughnecks’ history prior to the start of the 2013 season. Malawsky commended Evans, who currently leads the NLL scoring race with 82 points (26g, 56a in 12 games), for his 10-point effort against the Mammoth last Saturday. “There’s not many guys that want to win as bad as Shawn,” Malawsky said. “That’s contagious. When the game is on the line, he wants the ball on his stick. When there’s a big play that needs to be made, Shawny wants to make it. He’s been using his teammates around him, hence the amount of assists he’s accumulated. He’s a special player and he’s just part of a special group.” Malawsky is being assisted this season by Bob McMahon as offence coordinator and Bruce Codd as defence coordinator. It’s the third season for McMahon on the Calgary coaching staff, while Codd joined the Riggers this season.
MILESTONE MOMENTS: With a power-play goal in the first period of Calgary’s 12-11 overtime win over the Mammoth, Dobbie set a new franchise record for all-time power-play goals during the regular season with 59. He was previously tied at 58 with former Roughneck captain Tracey Kelusky. Meanwhile, McBride has played in 163 regular season games with the Riggers making him the franchise leader in that category. McBride recently passed Forever a Roughneck honouree Kaleb Toth, who previously held the franchise mark by appearing in 160 career regular season games with the Riggers.
ON THE VERGE: In just his third season, Dickson has now tied Kelusky for the franchise lead in all-time short-handed goals during the regular season 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 Washington forward Jeff Zywicki, who accomplished the feat in 2008 when he was a member of 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 two more times to hit the 100-goal mark.
- Nolan Heavenor is two points away from 100 and four loose balls away from 500.
- With five more goals, Curtis Dickson will reach 100.
- Geoff Snider is nine goals away from 100 and 25 loose balls away from 1,500.
- With 13 more points, Scott Ranger will reach 400.