Home-and-home series with Stealth to play major role in playoff positioning.
The Calgary Roughnecks completed their first goal of the season last weekend, but they are far from satisfied.
With the 12-11 overtime win over Colorado Mammoth, the Roughnecks clinched a playoff spot for the 11th time in 12 years as a franchise.
But the next two weeks will play a major role in deciding if the Scotiabank Saddledome will be home to a playoff game at the end of April.
Saturday night marks the start of a home-and-home series with the Washington Stealth beginning in Everett at 8 p.m.
“The next couple of games will base where we end up in the standings,” said Jeff Shattler, third on the team with 59 points. “We’d love to be at home, and not have to play on the road. It’s always interesting to play in front of your fans so that’s what our next goal is.
“We made the playoffs, that’s first, so now we are going for first.”
Currently, the Roughnecks are tied with the Stealth for second place in the West Division with a 7-5 record. Both teams are chasing the Edmonton Rush, who are half game ahead at 8-5. Whoever wins on Saturday will move into a tie with the Rush on top of the West.
“We’ve clinched the playoffs early for a few years, but it doesn’t mean anything,” added Shawn Evans, the NLL leader in points with 82. “We want to be at our highest level and the top of our game heading into the playoffs so we are ready to go.
“There are four games left and we have to start now.”
It’ll be the second matchup between the Stealth and Roughnecks this year, with Washington taking round one 16-14 back on Feb. 23rd.
The Roughnecks mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter down 12-6 and tied the game up, but three late goals secured the Stealth victory.
“We’re looking at the Stealth and they’ve got a very, very strong team,” said head coach Curt Malawsky. “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.”
Game time is 8 p.m. and fans can watch live on NLL.com.