News and Notes as the Roughnecks prepare to take on the Vancouver Stealth.
ROAD REDEMPTION: The Calgary Roughnecks (6-5) will look to end a two-game losing streak when they take on the Vancouver Stealth (3-8) at the Langley Events Centre on Friday (8 p.m.). Following a disappointing 15-7 setback at home to the Edmonton Rush a week earlier, Calgary coach Curt Malawsky said he expects the Riggers to bounce back with a much better effort against the Stealth. “They know the magnitude of this game,” said Malawsky, while noting his squad will face a tough task against the Stealth. “We always have a tough time with them. They play us very tough, they’re a very physical defence, they keep our guys to the outside and they’ve got a top-notch goaltender. Their offence is very, very explosive. We’ve got to be on our game.” Meanwhile, the Stealth hasn’t played since dropping a narrow 10-9 decision to the Rush in Edmonton on March 8. “Obviously we need some wins in our organization,” said Vancouver coach Chris Hall. “They’ve been tough to come so far for us. The week off probably has done us a bit of good in terms of refocusing and trying to figure out how we’re going to get some wins out of us and how we’re going to produce a bit more offence which has been a bit stagnant for us. They guys will be pretty anxious to get back on the floor this weekend.”
RIGGERS FALL TO RUSH: Despite a five-point effort by Curtis Dickson, the Riggers fell 15-7 to the Rush in front of 10,691 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome last Friday night. “When you get down early, it’s tough to come back especially against a good team like Edmonton,” said Dickson, who scored four times and added an assist. Jeff Shattler had a goal and two assists for the ’Necks, who dropped their second straight decision on the heels of four consecutive wins. “A good team like that steps on you and steps on your throat and they stepped on our throat tonight,” Malawsky said. “It’s a good learning lesson for our guys and we have to regroup and get ready for Vancouver.” Dane Dobbie (1g, 1a) and Tor Reinholdt (1g) also scored, while Daryl Veltman chipped in with three assists. Mike Poulin started in net for the Riggers and stopped 23 of 31 shots he faced. Frankie Scigliano made 24 saves in a relief appearance. Zach Greer led the way for the Rush with a hat trick, while former Roughnecks forward Cory Conway had two goals and two assists. Mark Matthews (2g, 1a), Curtis Knight (2g, 1a), Chris Corbeil (2g), Jeff Cornwall (1g, 2a), Jeremy Thompson (1g, 2a), Ryan Dilks (1g, 1a) and Nik Bilic (1g) also hit the scoresheet for Edmonton, while Rush goalie Aaron Bold made 27saves to record the win.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Calgary has already come out on top on two occasions against Vancouver this season. Shawn Evans and Dobbie then had big nights to lead the ’Necks to victory over the Stealth at the ’Dome on Jan. 18. Evans had a hat trick to go with six assists, while Dobbie scored five times and set up another. “We needed a breakout game for our offence to get us going,” Evans said at the time. “Hopefully this leads us in the right direction.” Veltman also had a hat trick to go with two helpers for the ’Necks, while Shattler had two goals and three assists. Dickson (1g, 2a), Mike Carnegie (1g, 1a) and Scott Ranger (4a) also had multiple-point performances. Poulin finished with 28 saves to backstop Calgary to the win. Rhys Duch led the Stealth attack with a hat trick and two assists, while Lewis Ratcliff scored twice and set up another. Jeff Moleski, Cliff Smith, Tyler Digby, Mike Grimes, Billy Hostrawser, Nick Weiss and Tyler Garrison also scored for Vancouver, while goalie Tyler Richards finished the game with 45 saves in the Stealth net. The Roughnecks also beat the Stealth 20-9 at home on Feb. 15. Evans led the way for the Roughnecks in that game as well with four goals and seven assists. Dobbie (4g, 4a) and Shattler (2g, 6a) both finished with eight points, while Dickson continued had three goals and two helpers. Geoff Snider also had a hat trick and added a pair of assists, while Karsen Leung (1g, 1a), Veltman (1g, 1a), Matthew Dinsdale (1g, 1a) and Curtis Manning (1g) rounded out the scoring for the ‘Necks. Brett Bucktooth (3g, 1a), Duch (4a), Ratcliff (2g, 1a) and Digby (1g, 2a) led the Stealth attack, while Cody Bremner, Weiss and Garrison also scored. Poulin stopped 28 of 36 shots for the victory, with Scigliano making three saves in relief. Richards and Matt Roik split time for the Stealth, with both making 18 saves in the loss.
ROUGHNECKS VS. STEALTH: The Roughnecks went 1-2 against the Washington Stealth in the 2013 regular season before losing 14-13 to the Everett-based squad at home in the NLL’s West Final. In the off-season, the Stealth relocated to the Greater Vancouver area, where they’ll play their home games out of the Langley Events Centre. After suffering a 16-14 setback to Washington at Everett’s Comcast Arena to start the 2013 season on Feb. 23, the Riggers responded with a 13-11 road win over the Stealth on March 30. The Stealth then edged the ’Necks 12-11 at the ’Dome on April 6 to win the season series. Evans paced the Roughnecks in scoring during the three-game set with four goals and 14 assists, while Dickson led all players with 10 goals to go with one assist. Dobbie scored seven goals to go with eight assists in the three games against Washington, while Shattler (7g, 6a), Ranger (2g, 8a) and Snider (3g, 4a) were also dangerous. Duch led the Stealth attack against Calgary in the regular season with seven goals and added 15 assists, while Ratcliff scored six times and set up 11 others. Bucktooth also performed well for Washington against Calgary with five goals and eight assists. The Roughnecks have compiled an all-time regular-season record of 8-5 (2-4 at home, 6-1 on the road) against the Washington Stealth. Over the previous six seasons before the Stealth relocated to Everett from San Jose, the ’Necks had compiled a 9-7 record in the regular season against the San Jose Stealth (3-4 at home, 6-3 on the road).
MOUSE’S MUSINGS: Nicknamed ‘Mouse’, Curt Malawsky is in his second season as head coach for the Roughnecks. Malawsky, who is also Calgary’s assistant general manager, said the Riggers can’t afford to play against the Stealth the way they did during last weekend’s 15-7 setback to the Rush. “If we put an effort out like we did last weekend, we’ll be on the short end of the stick,” Malawsky said. “I expect our guys to bounce back from last weekend’s effort. It’s just another opportunity for us to battle against a divisional opponent. Every win in this league is big. Pushing down the stretch, everyone’s fighting for a playoff spot. We’re all trying to battle our way in. It’s going to be a playoff atmosphere. I don’t expect anybody’s going to get anything for free out there. I know our guys are looking forward to it.” Malawsky will be assisted once again this season by Bob McMahon as offence coordinator and Bruce Codd as defence coordinator. It’s the fourth season for McMahon on the Calgary coaching staff, while Codd is in his second season with the ’Necks.
RIGGERS STAND PAT AT DEADLINE: The National Lacrosse League’s trade deadline came and went on Tuesday and Calgary’s roster didn’t change as the Riggers stood pat for the second straight year. General manager Mike Board admitted his phone was busy leading up to the deadline but he ultimately couldn’t pull the trigger on anything. “We were busy, we were pro-active too,” Board said shortly after the 1 p.m. deadline passed. “We didn’t end up doing anything this year so we’ll move forward with what we’ve got.” With just seven games remaining on the Roughnecks’ schedule, the playoff race is wide open, but Board is content with his club’s roster. “We’re very happy with our group,” he said. “It’s always a work in progress and you want to peak at the right time in the season, but we like our personnel so that’s part of the reason why we didn’t end up doing anything because we didn’t think that we would get an upgrade on what we’ve already got.”
MILESTONE MOMENTS: Poulin and Dickson reached milestone moments on March 1 in Calgary’s 19-13 win over the Toronto Rock at the Saddledome. The goalie known as the “Poulin Wall” stopped 48 of 61 shots fired his way to become the franchise leader in regular-season saves, surpassing the previous mark of 2,117 held by Curtis “Shut the Door” Palidwor. “It means a lot playing in the home barn in front of the home fans,” said Poulin, who has since increased his save totals during his time with the Riggers to 2,197. “It’s one of those things that you kind of share it with your D guys and you share it with everybody in the organization so I’m thrilled.” Meanwhile, Dickson lived up to his ‘Superman’ nickname as he set a career high for points in a game with six goals and four assists. “I had no idea - it’s cool,” said Dickson, who also made history on Feb. 8 when he scored while the Riggers were playing a man down in the third quarter of Calgary’s 15-13 road win over the Minnesota Swarm. Dickson is now the franchise leader in all-time short-handed goals during the regular season with 13, one more than Roughnecks legend Tracey Kelusky. … With his 11-point performance during a 20-9 drubbing of the Vancouver Stealth at home on Feb. 15, Evans surpassed the 600-point plateau. The nine-year NLL veteran has racked up 218 goals to go with 402 assists for 620 points in 136 career regular-season games.
DID YOU KNOW?: Having scooped up 136 loose balls this season, Snider has increased his totals in that category for the Riggers in the regular season to 774 during just his fourth season with Calgary. Snider has moved past Kaleb Toth, who finished his career with 661 loose balls during his time with the ’Necks, and into second spot behind Shattler on the franchise leader board. In eight seasons with the Riggers, Shattler has collected 815 loose balls, while Snider is quickly closing the gap. Snider and Shattler are also neck-and-neck for the franchise record for loose balls in the playoffs. Snider is sitting at 86, while Shattler is six behind with 80.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Dane Dobbie is two assists shy of 200 and six loose balls away from 300.
- Mike Carnegie is six points away from 50.
- By scooping up eight more loose balls, Peter McFetridge will reach 200.
- Greg Harnett is 10 loose balls shy of 100.
- Jeff Shattler needs 22 goals to reach 200 and just one more penalty minute to hit 100.
- Mike Poulin is 39 saves away from 2,500.