News and notes for the West Division Final this Saturday against the Washington Stealth.
BRING ON THE STEALTH: By virtue of a 15-10 win over the Colorado Mammoth last Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome in the opening round of the National Lacrosse League playoffs, the Calgary Roughnecks will now host the Washington Stealth in the West Division Final this Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Also last Saturday, the Stealth edged the Edmonton Rush 12-11 at home in Everett, Wash. “We’ve had a lot of tough battles with those guys,” said Calgary captain Andrew McBride. “They’ve got a prolific offence and they’re going to be ready to go. They’ve got a big, pounding, bruising defence and (goalie) Tyler Richards can get hot. He’s had some good games in the ’Dome. We’re going to watch film like we did (for) this game. Everybody’s got to rise to the occasion to play their role.”
MAMMOTH VICTORY: The Riggers used a balanced scoring attack to down the Mammoth last Saturday night. Jeff Shattler (3g, 4a), Shawn Evans (3g, 2a) and Scott Ranger (3g, 1a) all recorded hat tricks to pace Calgary’s scoring attack. “It just shows the competitive edge that we have on our team,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky. “We had to play offence by committee and we played defence by committee. That’s one thing about this team, we do everything together and when we do that we’re pretty tough to beat.” Daryl Veltman also had a strong game for the ’Necks with a goal and five assists, while Joe Resetarits (1g, 1a), Curtis Dickson (1g, 1a), Peter McFetridge (1g, 1a), Travis Cornwall (1g, 1a) and Nolan Heavenor (1g) also scored. Dane Dobbie set up four goals, while Geoff Snider and McBride chipped in with two assists each. Mike Poulin had another stellar game in between the pipes for the Riggers as he made 32 saves, while back-up netminder Frankie Scigliano stopped two of four shots he faced late in the game. Adam Jones had four goals and an assist for Colorado, while Casey Powell a hat trick and three helpers and John Grant Jr. had two goals and three assists. Goalies Tye Belanger (27 saves) and Dan Lewis (14 saves) split time in net for Colorado.
ROUGHNECKS VS. STEALTH: The Roughnecks went 1-2 against the Stealth in the 2013 regular season. After suffering a 16-14 setback at Everett’s Comcast Arena on Feb. 23, the Riggers responded with a 13-11 road win over the Stealth on March 30. The Stealth then edged the ’Necks 12-11 at the ’Dome on April 6 to win the season series. Evans paced the Roughnecks in scoring during the three-game set with four goals and 12 assists, while Dickson led all players with 10 goals to go with one assist. Dobbie scored seven goals to go with eight assists in the three games against Washington, while Shattler (7g, 6a), Ranger (2g, 8a) and Geoff Snider (3g, 4a) were also dangerous. Rhys Duch led the Stealth attack against Calgary in the regular season with seven goals and added 15 assists, while former Roughneck Lewis Ratcliff scored six times and set up 11 others. Brett Bucktooth also performed well for Washington against Calgary with five goals and eight assists, while Dean Hill and Athan Iannucci counted four goals and three assists each. The Roughnecks have compiled an all-time regular-season record of 7-5 (1-4 at home, 6-1 on the road) against the Washington Stealth. Since the Stealth relocated from San Jose to Washington prior to the start of the 2009 season, the Roughnecks have gone 6-1 in games they played at the Comcast Arena in Everett. Conversely, the Stealth has gone 4-1 on the road in games played at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Over the previous six seasons before the move, the ’Necks had compiled a 9-7 record in the regular season against the San Jose Stealth (3-4 at home, 6-3 on the road).
DID YOU KNOW?: The Roughnecks have met the Stealth a total of three times in the playoffs, twice when the franchise was still located in San Jose and once since the team relocated to Everett, Wash. In 2004, the Riggers edged the Stealth 15-14 in San Jose during the first round of the playoffs before also beating the Colorado Mammoth 13-11 on the road in the West Division Final. The ’Necks then went on to beat the Buffalo Bandits 14-11 at home to capture the 2004 Champion’s Cup. Calgary followed a similar script en route to their second NLL championship title in 2009 when the Riggers opened up the playoffs with a 15-8 win at home over Colorado before routing San Jose 17-5 in the West Division Final at the ’Dome in the second round. The ’Necks then beat the New York Titans 12-10 in the 2009 championship game at home.
EVANS ALMIGHTY: After an impressive 10-point performance in Edmonton during Calgary’s 12-11 overtime win over the Rush on April 20, Evans won the NLL’s Offensive Player of the Week award for the final week of the regular season. Evans also wrapped up the league’s regular-season scoring title with 112 points, which also set a franchise record for most points in a single season. He broke the previous mark of 104 points, which was previously shared by both Ratcliff and Josh Sanderson. Evans also led the NLL in assists with 80 to set another franchise record for the Riggers. Sanderson held the previous franchise record by registering 74 helpers in 2009.
LOOSE BALL FRENZY: Snider led the NLL in the regular season by scooping up 235 loose balls. It’s the third best total of his career (he had 245 loose balls in 2010 and 244 in 2008 when he was a member of the Philadelphia Wings). The seven-year veteran has now gathered up 1,527 loose balls throughout his career. Snider also led the NLL this season in two other categories with 310 faceoff wins and 69 penalty minutes and he finished third in forced turnovers with 27.
MILESTONE MOMENTS: McBride appeared in his 17th playoff game last weekend against the Mammoth to set a franchise record for most post-season games played. He was previously tied at 16 with Kaleb Toth. McBride has also played in 167 regular season games with the Riggers making him the franchise leader in that category. … Dickson notched the 100th goal of his NLL career in the third quarter of Calgary’s 12-11 loss at home to Washington on April 6. Dickson finished the season with a career-high 42 goals in 15 games. 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 Colorado on March 23, Dobbie established a franchise record for all-time power-play goals. Dobbie added two more power-play goals in the regular season to give him 61 for his career. He was previously tied at 58 with former Roughneck captain Tracey Kelusky. … With his five-goal performance against the Rush in Calgary’s final game of the regular season, Veltman surpassed the 100-goal plateau in his fifth season in the NLL. With 103 goals and 186 assists in 73 career NLL games, Veltman is now just 11 points away from 300 points.
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 Jon and Greg 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 serve as Poulin’s back-up netminder.
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.