The Calgary Roughnecks will look to return to their winning ways against the Stealth on Fri
ROAD REMATCH: The Calgary Roughnecks will look to return to their winning ways when they face the Washington Stealth at the Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash., on Friday night (9 p.m.). After starting the 2012 National Lacrosse League campaign with a pair of road victories, the Roughnecks (2-2) suffered back-to-back overtime setbacks at home on Jan. 21 (13-12 to the Colorado Mammoth) and Jan. 28 (14-13 to the Toronto Rock). Meanwhile, the Stealth (1-3) earned its win of the season last Saturday with an 11-10 overtime triumph on the road over the Buffalo Bandits. In their second game of the season on Jan. 14, the Riggers beat the Stealth 13-10 in Everett as Dane Dobbie led the offensive attack with a hat trick. Jeff Shattler scored twice and added four assists, while Curtis Manning, Curtis Dickson and Scott Ranger each had two goals and an assist. Geoff Snider had an impressive outing for the ’Necks with a goal and two assists in addition to collecting 17 loose balls and going 17-for-26 in the faceoff circle. Captain Andrew McBride chipped in with a goal, while netminder Mike Poulin made 49 saves to record the victory and chipped in with two assists for good measure. Rhys Duch led Washington’s attack with four goals and two assists, while former Roughneck Lewis Ratcliff scored once and set up five others for the Stealth.
ROCK REVENGE: After opening the season with a 12-9 win in Toronto, the Roughnecks appeared to be in good shape last Saturday with a 13-11 lead at the Scotiabank Saddledome in the fourth quarter over the Rock. Kasey Beirnes and Garrett Billings then scored for the visitors to tie up the game before defenceman Cam Woods notched his first goal of the season at 1:05 of overtime to give the Rock the come-from-behind win. Despite the loss, Curtis Dickson had a strong game for Calgary with a hat trick and three helpers. “It’s always nice to have personal achievements, but you always want to win the games,” Dickson said. “We’ve just got to get back to the drawing board and draw up the game plan and make sure we execute.” Shawn Evans also had a strong showing with two goals and three assists, while Shattler and Daryl Veltman each scored twice and set up two others. Ranger (1g, 3a), Dobbie (1g, 3a), and Snider (2a) also had multiple-point performances, while Jon Harnett and Peter McFetridge each scored once. Mike Poulin started in goal but was replaced in the second quarter by Nick Rose after allowing five goals on 14 shots. Rose then stopped 11-of-17 shots he faced before Poulin re-entered the game in the fourth quarter. Poulin made 10 more saves and wound up taking the loss. Pat Campbell started in net for Toronto, but only lasted 3:59 before getting ejected from the game for instigating a fight with Snider. Matt Roik then made 32 saves in a relief appearance to record the victory. Josh Sanderson led the Toronto offence with a hat trick and added six helpers. Billings also had a three-goal performance for the Rock to go with four assists, while Mike Hobbins scored once and set up three others.
ROUGHNECKS VS. STEALTH: The Roughnecks went 2-1 in the regular season against Washington last year before suffering a disappointing 10-8 loss at home on May 7 in the 2011 West Final to the Stealth. Calgary beat Washington 13-11 in Everett on Jan. 9 before the Stealth rebounded with a 19-14 win over Calgary at the ’Dome on Jan. 22. Calgary then took the season series with a 17-13 road win over Washington on March 13 before the Stealth got its revenge in the post-season. In the three regular-season games, Shattler led Calgary’s offensive attack with 10 goals and six assists, while Ranger scored six times and set up nine others. Dobbie had nine goals and five assists in the three-game set, while Veltman (3g, 9a), Kaleb Toth (6g, 5a) and Conway (1g, 9a) also hit double digits. Duch led Washington with 19 points on eight goals and 11 assists, while Luke Wiles (11g, 7a), Ratcliff (9g, 9a) and Cam Sedgwick (4g, 7a) were also dangerous for the Stealth. In the West Final, Ratcliff haunted his former squad by leading the Stealth to victory with three goals and four assists. Jeff Zywicki also played well for Washington with a hat trick and three helpers, while Wiles (1g, 4a), Duch (1g, 3a), Paul Rabil (1g, 2a) and Cliff Smith (1g) also scored. Veltman scored twice in a losing cause for the Roughnecks, while Ranger (1g, 4a), Dobbie (1g, 3a), Shattler (1g, 2a), Toth (1g, 2a), Dickson (1g, 1a) and Snider (1g) also scored. Stealth goalie Tyler Richards made 44 saves to record the win, while Poulin stopped 43-of-53 shots he faced at the other end of the floor.
DID YOU KNOW?: Since the Stealth relocated from San Jose to Washington prior to the start of the 2009 season, the Roughnecks have won all three regular-season games they have played at the Comcast Arena in Everett. Conversely, the Stealth has gone 3-0 on the road in games played at the 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).
PYM’S PERSPECTIVE: Dave Pym, who took over as the fifth head coach in Roughnecks’ history prior to the 2010 season, said that he hopes his players will learn from the mistakes they made in their previous two overtime setbacks at home. “You’ve got to make mistakes in order to learn and go forward,” Pym said. “It’s unfortunate that they cost you games, but it’s early in the year and we’re going to regroup, we’re going to refocus and we’re going to be better for it.” Once again, Pym will be assisted by Curt Malawsky as offence coordinator and Bob McMahon as defence coordinator. It’s the third season for Malawsky on the Calgary coaching staff, while McMahon is back for his second year behind the bench.
ALL-STAR RIGGERS: Earlier this week, the NLL announced that Roughnecks forward Jeff Shattler and transition players Geoff Snider and Curtis Manning have been named to the West roster for the 2012 NLL All-Star Game presented by Reebok Lacrosse on Saturday, Feb. 25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Shattler, the 2011 League MVP and Transition Player of the Year, will play in his fourth career All-Star Game. The Brampton, Ont., native recorded eight points (4g, 4a) and collected 33 loose balls in his previous three All-Star appearances. In four games played this season, Shattler is tied for the team lead with 17 points (5g, 12a). Snider, the NLL’s Transition Player of the Week for Week #1, will make his fifth All-Star appearance. The Calgary, Alta., native recorded 11 points (6g, 5a) and collected 50 loose balls in his past four All-Star games and was named the All-Star MVP in 2008. Snider leads the league in faceoffs won (82) and loose balls (59) in four games played. Manning, the NLL’s Defensive Player of the Week for Week #1, will make his first career All-Star appearance in Buffalo. Manning has scored four goals and added one assist for five points and scooped up 23 loose balls in four games played. The Surrey, B.C., native set a season-high for points with two goals and one assist in a 13-10 win over Washington on Jan. 14. Fans can watch the All-Star game on the NLL Network at www.nll.com.
OH BROTHER: Since the 2008 season, brothers Scott and Mike Carnegie have suited up for the Roughnecks on defence. This year, they’re joined on the back end by another brother tandem in Jon and Greg Harnett. While Jon appeared in all 16 games with the Riggers last season after playing the previous two seasons for Boston, Greg cracked Calgary’s roster this year as a rookie. The Riggers chose Greg in the second round (11th overall) of the 2011 NLL Entry Draft. Three of Calgary’s five picks at last year’s draft played well enough at training camp to earn spots on the roster. The others are transition player Travis Cornwall (first round, seventh overall) and goalie Frankie Scigliano (second round, 18th overall).
RETURNING VETERANS: McBride leads a group of 18 returning vets on Calgary’s roster this year. “When we’re firing on all cylinders, staying disciplined and playing our game, we’re one of the top teams in the league,” said McBride, who anchors Calgary’s defence corps. The Roughnecks are also pleased to welcome back Shattler, Dobbie, Ranger, Dickson, Conway, Veltman and Toth at forward. Joining McBride on defence are the brother tandems of Mike and Scott Carnegie and Jon and Greg Harnett (the latter of whom is a rookie), along with Mike Kilby and Dan MacRae. Transition players Nolan Heavenor, McFetridge, Manning and Snider are also back in the fold along with Poulin in goal.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- With four more goals, Jeff Shattler will hit the 100 mark for his six-year career .
- Scott Ranger is just four points shy of 300, while he also needs just 10 loose balls to reach 300 in that category.
- By playing in two more contests, Shawn Evans will reach the 100 games played plateau. Evans is also 19 points away from reaching 400.
- Kaleb Toth is seven assists shy of 400. Toth also needs just 11 more loose balls to reach 800.
- With four more points, Daryl Veltman will have 200 for his four-year career. Veltman is also three loose balls shy of 200.