All the news, quotes and anecdotes from the Roughnecks heading into their second game of the year
MAMMOTH TASK: After suffering a 13-11 setback to the Toronto Rock last weekend, the Calgary Roughnecks (0-1) will look to even their record when they host the Colorado Mammoth (0-1) at the Scotiabank Saddledome this Saturday (7 p.m.). “This is a process for us,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky following the loss to the Rock. “They came out and they executed and they handed it to us, but we’re young and we’re going to bounce back. We want to see some adversity. It’s all going to be proof in the pudding next week. If we learn from this and come out and win (on Saturday), that’s what we’re looking forward to.” The Mammoth will also be looking to avenge a stinging setback that they suffered at the Pepsi Centre last Saturday to the Washington Stealth. The Stealth scored six times in the third quarter to take a commanding 16-8 lead. The Mammoth then rallied to score five late goals in the fourth to narrow the gap before ultimately losing 17-13.
COMEBACK CUT SHORT: Against Toronto in their home opener, Calgary fell behind 10-5 by the 6:40 mark of the third quarter. The Riggers then scored five of the next six goals to pull within one at the mid-way mark of the final frame. That’s as close as they would get though as Kasey Beirnes scored a pair of late goals to finish off his hat trick and secure the 13-11 victory for the Rock. “Once we settled down in the second half, things were just gelling,” said rookie Calgary forward Joe Resetarits, who scored his first National Lacrosse League goal and added two assists. “We’ve just got to be more sharp and we’ve got to relax a little more. You’re not going to win a championship in one game, so it’s going to be a process the whole year.” Beirnes also had a pair of assists for the Rock, while former Roughneck Josh Sanderson scored twice and set up two others. Netminder Nick Rose, who started last season with the Riggers before being traded to Toronto, played well in the Rock net as he stopped 45-of-56 shots fired his way. Special teams were a factor in the game as the Rock went four-for-six on the power play, while the Riggers scored twice on six chances with the man advantage. Shawn Evans paced the Roughnecks offensively with a hat trick and two helpers, while Curtis Dickson had two goals and three assists. Daryl Veltman scored once and set up four others, while newcomer Aaron Pascas had a goal and an assist. Geoff Snider, Andrew McBride and Jeff Shattler also scored, while Scott Ranger had two assists. Goalie Mike Poulin made 35 saves in a losing cause.
ROUGHNECKS VS. MAMMOTH: The Roughnecks went 1-1 in the 2012 regular season against the Mammoth. After a 13-12 overtime loss to Colorado at home on Jan. 21, the Riggers rebounded with a 21-10 shellacking of the Mammoth on Feb. 24 in Denver. Veltman led the way offensively for Calgary over Colorado with six goals and nine assists in the two-game set, while Evans (5g, 6a), Shattler (2g, 9a), Ranger (3g, 7a), Dickson (4g, 4a) and Snider (2g, 2a) were also dangerous. John Grant Jr. led the Mammoth attack against the Riggers last year with eight goals and nine assists in just two games. Gavin Prout was also dangerous against the ’Necks as he scored the overtime goal in the first game and finished with four goals and seven assists in the two-game set. Adam Jones (3g, 6a) and Jamie Lincoln (3g, 1a) also had multiple-point performances in both games against the Riggers. Poulin had a win and a loss in between the pipes for Calgary, while Chris Levis went 1-1 in the Colorado net. Calgary has an all-time record of 12-13 (7-7 at home, 5-6 on the road) in the regular season against Colorado.
BACK IN ACTION: Calgary forward Dane Dobbie will return to action after missing the first game of the season as a result of a game misconduct penalty he took during Calgary’s playoff loss to the Edmonton Rush on May 5. After being deemed the instigator of a fight during Calgary’s 19-11 loss to Edmonton, Dobbie was assessed a one-game suspension, which he served last Saturday when he missed Calgary’s home opener against Toronto.
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 Edmonton Rush (6-10) in the first round of the playoffs on May 5, 2012. Led by five goals and six assists from Ryan Ward, the Rush upset the Riggers 19-11. Corey Small also had a strong game for the Rush with five goals and three assists, while Tom Johnson had a hat trick. Ranger notched four goals and an assist for the Roughnecks, who beat the Rush all four times the two teams faced off against each other in the regular season. “They just worked harder than us,” Ranger said. “They got the bounces they needed and we didn’t get the bounces and we weren’t working hard enough. It’s unacceptable and our season’s over because of it.” Dobbie had a hat trick and four assists for the ’Necks, Evans scored twice and set up four others, while Shattler had two goals and three assists.
RETURNING VETERANS: Captain Andrew McBride leads a group of 19 returning players on Calgary’s roster this year. “The pieces are in place,” said McBride, who will once again anchor Calgary’s defence corps. “I couldn’t be happier with the group. Now it’s about executing as players and really taking it to the next level.” 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 will once again be the starter in between the pipes, while Frankie Scigliano will be counted upon to be a reliable back-up goalie.
MOUSE’S MUSINGS: Curt Malawsky took over as the sixth head coach in Roughnecks’ history prior to the start of the 2013 season. “Expectations are high,” said Malawsky, who helped the Riggers win a Champion’s Cup in 2009 in the final season of his 12-year playing career. “It’s championship or nothing. That’s what we’re setting our goals on. Myself as a coach, I have a philosophy and some values. I believe I have a recipe for what it takes to win. We might be a little different out the start of the gate than we were the last couple of years. We’re trying to make sure it all accumulates in May when those last three games come up on us. We’re really gearing up towards that.” Malawsky will be assisted 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.
NEW FACES: New additions to Calgary’s roster include forward Aaron Pascas, who the ’Necks acquired from the Toronto Rock in exchange for a draft pick, and defenceman Brad Richardson, who signed as a free agent. Among the five new faces who made the team 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).
LETTER MEN: Andrew McBride is back for another season as Calgary’s captain, while Mike Carnegie will again serve as an assistant. With the retirement of Kaleb Toth, another assistant spot opened up. Malawsky chose to reward Scott Ranger for his leadership abilities. “He’s eager to do it,” Malawsky said. “He does a good job leading us without a letter and now he’s got a letter, so our leadership group is strong and we’re really going to lean on those guys.” Ranger said he was honoured to accept his new role as an assistant captain. “I try to base my game on leadership anyways,” he said. “Now with the letter, it just gives me the opportunity to talk to the refs. It’s definitely one of those things that I’m going to be proud to wear on my shirt for sure.”
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 (first 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).
CALLING IT A CAREER: Kaleb Toth, the longest serving member of the Roughnecks, announced his retirement on Dec. 20, 2012. Toth, who was acquired from the Toronto Rock prior to the 2002 NLL season, spent the last 11 seasons in a Calgary uniform after his first two seasons with Toronto. Toth is a veteran of over 200 NLL regular season and playoff games combined. “I would like thank the Roughnecks, my teammates, past and present, for their support and for the memories we will always share,” Toth said. “I would especially like to thank my family for their continued support and look forward to spending time with my wife, son and daughter and my future endeavours.” The Calgary native is a four-time NLL all-star (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006) and holds almost every regular season offensive record for the Roughnecks including most games played (160), goals (274), assists (354), points (628) and game-winning goals (15). In addition to leading the Roughnecks to two NLL championships (2004 and 2009) and one with the Toronto Rock (2000), Toth has established the Roughnecks franchise record for playoff assists (34), power-play goals (8), loose balls (78) and is second in games played (16), goals (22) and points (56). Due to his accomplishments, Toth will be recognized as the first recipient of the “Forever A Roughneck” distinction for a Calgary Roughnecks player. Toth will receive the honour on March 2 at Kaleb Toth Night prior to Calgary’s home game against the Edmonton Rush. Toth will be accompanied by his family and members of the Roughnecks team in a pre-game ceremony at the Scotiabank Saddledome. A special banner for Toth will be hoisted to the rafters and will remain on permanent display at the ’Dome.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
In his seventh NLL campaign, Geoff Snider needs just two points to reach 200.
Goalie Mike Poulin needs just three wins to reach 30 in his seventh season.
By setting up four more goals, Scott Ranger will reach the 200-assist mark.
Jeff Shattler needs to scoop up just four more loose balls to reach 700.
Nolan Heavenor is five points away from reaching the 100 mark in his eighth NLL season.
With six more penalty minutes, Andrew McBride will have spent 300 minutes in the sin bin.
Daryl Veltman needs to score nine more times to hit the 100-goal mark.