A win on Saturday night over the Edmonton Rush gives the Roughnecks the West Division
It all comes down to this weekend for the Calgary Roughnecks.
They achieved their first goal of the season a few weeks back when they clinched a berth in the post-season.
Now it’s Week 16 of the NLL regular season, and the repercussions run deep for the Roughnecks.
A win over the Edmonton Rush and they clinch first place in the West Division, and will have home-field advantage up until the NLL Champion’s Cup. A loss and a number of different scenarios come into play.
They’re not worried about that part though – they are focusing on the win against their Alberta rivals.
“We have been getting better every week and we are excited to go up to Edmonton,” said head coach Curt Malawsky. “It’s going to be a big challenge and we can’t wait for Saturday.”
For another storyline going into the game, a Calgary victory will also give the Roughnecks the Homes By Avi Battle Of Alberta Lacrosse Cup. If the two teams end up tied than a goal differential will decide the winner. The Cup will be awarded to the victorious team after the game.
Edmonton currently has a one game lead in the West Division on the Roughnecks with a record of 9-6. Calgary and Washington are tied in second at an 8-7 record.
A Calgary win would give them and Edmonton a same record, but the Roughnecks would end up top in the division on the basis of winning the season series against the Rush.
The NLL is currently in a situation where almost everything is up for grabs in the final weekend. The only thing guaranteed right now is that the Toronto Rock will end up first in the East Division. Besides that, nothing is known.
“Everybody knows that this championship is up for grabs,” said transition star Geoff Snider. “I don’t think that there is one group that is standing out more than the rest.”
The Roughnecks are coming off a setback against the Rochester Knighthawks that can only be described as a good loss.
From all accounts, it was a fantastic game of lacrosse between two teams playing their best.
Neither team could garner more than a two-goal lead, and the Roughnecks fell one shot short in a 15-14 game last Saturday at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“Sometimes in the game of lacrosse, one shot wins,” Malawsky said. “Our compete level was phenomenal. There was playoff intensity in that game, which is great going forward.”
And now standing in front of their playoff goals is the Rush, who has been a handful for the Roughnecks as of late. Calgary won the first two matchups of the season, but suffered a loss in early March. As well, the Rush has won eight of their last ten games dating back to early February.
Game time is 7 p.m. at Rexall Place in Edmonton. Fans can watch on Sportsnet One with a one-hour tape delay.