News and notes as the Roughnecks prepare for the Rochester Knighthawks.
LOOKING TO REBOUND: The Calgary Roughnecks (8-6) hope return to their winning ways when they face off against the Rochester Knighthawks (6-7) at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night. Coming off a heart-breaking 12-11 loss to the Washington Stealth last Saturday at the ’Dome, the Riggers will face a tough Rochester squad still in search of clinching a playoff berth. “We’re up against a very, very well-coached team and a world-class goaltender (in Matt Vinc), said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky. “They don’t have a lot of holes out there and they work extremely hard. We’re going to have to come out and match that compete level. It’s going to be a true battle. We’re excited to play a team from the east. Hopefully it’ll be a great game on both ends of the floor for us.” The Knighthawks will face a tough task this weekend as they’ll play back-to-back road games against the ’Necks on Saturday and the Edmonton Rush on Sunday. “We’ve just got to worry about what’s in front of us and that’s Calgary,” said Rochester coach Mike Hasen. “It’s going to be a battle. We’re going to have our hands full.”
MISSED OPPORTUNITY: The Roughnecks missed out on a chance to secure a home playoff game by virtue of last Saturday’s loss to the Stealth. “It was one of our goals at the start of the season to get the home playoff game, especially in front of our great fans,” said Calgary captain Andrew McBride. “We played well the first half and then got a little undisciplined. I thought they outworked us in the second half. It’s one of those things. You’ve got to bear down and finish.” Curtis Dickson had a hat trick, including the 100th goal of his NLL career, in a losing cause for the Riggers, who are in a three-way tie for first place in the NLL’s West Division with Washington and Edmonton. Dane Dobbie led all Calgary scorers with two goals and three assists, while Jeff Shattler scored twice and set up two others. Scott Ranger had a goal and three assists, while Shawn Evans (1g, 2a), Geoff Snider (1g, 2a) and Dan MacRae (1g) also scored. Goalie Mike Poulin made 38 saves in a losing cause. Rhys Duch had three goals and four assists for the Stealth, while former Roughnecks Lewis Ratcliff (3g, 2a) and Jeff Moleski (2g) also had strong efforts. Kyle Buchanan, Mike Grimes, Brett Bucktooth and Dean Hill also scored for Washington, while Tyler Richards was strong in net as he made 48 saves to record the win.
ROUGHNECKS VS. KNIGHTHAWKS: The Roughnecks went 1-1 against the Knighthawks last season as they edged Rochester 15-14 at home on April 6 before suffering a 14-12 road loss less than one week later on April 14. Evans, who previously played for the Knighthawks from 2006-11 before being acquired by the Riggers, led all scorers in the two-game set with five goals and 10 assists, while Shattler (4g, 8a), Dobbie (8g), Daryl Veltman (1g, 7a), Dickson (4g, 3a) and Ranger (2g, 4a) were also dangerous. Johnny Powless led the way for Rochester with six goals and eight assists against Calgary last season, while the Riggers will also have to be wary of Stephen Keogh (6g, 6a), Mike Accursi (4g, 6a), Cody Jamieson (3g, 7a), Cory Vitarelli (5g) and Dan Dawson, who the Knighthawks acquired from the Philadelphia Wings in the off-season. Calgary has an all-time record of 3-3 (2-0 at home, 1-3 on the road) in the regular season against Rochester. The two teams have never met in the playoffs.
DID YOU KNOW?: Prior to last year’s home-and-home set, the last time the two teams faced off against each other was back on April 3, 2010 when the Roughnecks beat the Knighthawks 11-9 in Rochester. Dobbie led the charge offensively for the Riggers with a hat trick and four helpers, while Ranger scored three times and set up three others. Other than last year, the only other time that the Knighthawks have made the trip out west to Calgary to play at the Scotiabank Saddledome was on April 4, 2009 when the ’Necks ran to a 12-9 victory.
MOUSE’S MUSINGS: Curt Malawsky took over as the sixth head coach in Roughnecks’ history prior to the start of the 2013 season. With just two games remaining on the schedule, Malawsky said his players have to get into a post-season mindset if they hope to secure a home playoff date. “In a one-goal game league, you make a mistake it ends up in the back of your net,” Malawsky said. “That’s the way it’s going to be the rest of the year and throughout the playoffs. Those are where a lot of lessons are learned in those tight one-goal games where you’re battling for your playoff life down the stretch.” 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: Dickson notched the 100th goal of his NLL career in the third quarter of Calgary’s 12-11 loss at home to Washington last Saturday. Dickson added two more to give him a team-leading 38 goals in 14 games this season. His previous career high was 33 goals, which he set back in 2011 during his rookie campaign. … With a power-play goal in the first period of Calgary’s 12-11 overtime win at home over the Colorado Mammoth on March 23, Dobbie established a new franchise record for all-time power-play goals. Dobbie has since scored two more power-play to give him 61 for his career. He was previously tied at 58 with former Roughneck captain Tracey Kelusky. … Meanwhile, McBride has played in 165 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. … Through 14 games, Evans has scored 28 goals to go with 64 assists to give him a career-high 92 points. In his first season with the Riggers last year, Evans put up 79 points (32g, 47a) to tie his career high set back in 2009 when he was a member of the Knighthawks. Evans needs 13 points in Calgary’s two remaining regular season games to break the franchise record for most points in a year of 104, which is shared by Josh Sanderson and Lewis Ratcliff.
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.
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 Rush (6-10) in the first round of the playoffs on May 5 and suffered a 19-11 setback to end their season.
RETURNING VETERANS: Captain Andrew McBride leads a group of 19 returning players on Calgary’s roster this year. 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 is once again the starter in between the pipes, while Frankie Scigliano will be counted upon to be a reliable back-up goalie.
NEW FACES: Among the four new faces on the Riggers this season 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). The ’Necks also acquired forward Aaron Pascas from the Toronto Rock in exchange for a draft pick in the off-season.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Curtis Dickson is 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 one loose ball away from 500.
- With five more points, Scott Ranger will hit 400.
- Geoff Snider is seven goals away from 100 and eight loose balls away from 1,500.
- By scooping up nine more loose balls, Scott Carnegie will reach 300, while Mike Carnegie needs 11 more loose balls for 400.
- Shawn Evans needs 12 points to tie and 13 points to break the franchise record of most points in one season of 104, which is shared by former Roughnecks Josh Sanderson (2010) and Lewis Ratcliff (2007).