News and notes previewing the Roughnecks game versus the Mammoth on Saturday.
HEROIC TASK: For the second time this season, the Calgary Roughnecks (2-2) will face the Colorado Mammoth (1-5) at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night (7 p.m.). During Pete the Plumber Superhero Night, the Riggers will be looking to replicate the success they had against Colorado in their home opener on Jan. 10 when they downed the Mammoth 13-11. “We’re not taking them lightly by any means,” said Calgary head coach Curt Malawsky. “They’ve got so much power up front. We’re going to have our hands full and we’re going to do our best to prepare for them.” Despite his team’s sub-par record this season, Colorado coach Bob Hamley said he can’t fault his players for their efforts. “We’re trying to really, really focus on what we’re doing as a team and doing better on both sides of the ball,” Hamley said. “I can’t deny the effort. Our guys have battled really hard. They’re preparing well. We’ve just got to cut down on some mistakes. We need to get a few breaks and keep with the game plan.”
FANTASTIC FEELING: Jeff Shattler scored four times and added an assist to lead the Roughnecks to the 13-11 win over the Mammoth the last time the two teams faced off in on Jan. 10 in front of 11,232 fans at the ’Dome. Shattler also scored four goals a week earlier during Calgary’s season-opening 16-11 setback to the Rock in Toronto. “It doesn’t matter how many points you get really,” Shattler said. “It is good for your self-confidence, but to get a W out of it I think that’s a lot better feeling for yourself for sure.” Dane Dobbie also had four goals in the win over the Mammoth to go with two assists, while Geoff Snider notched a hat trick and set up another. In just his second NLL game, Karsen Leung notched his first goal and added two assists, while fellow Rigger rookie Garrett McIntosh also recorded his first points with two assists. Curtis Dickson also had a goal and an assist, while reigning NLL MVP Shawn Evans chipped in with three helpers. Goalie Mike Poulin made 34 saves to record the win and added an assist for good measure. John Grant Jr. led Colorado with two goals and four assists each, while Sean Pollock (3g, 1a), Drew Westervelt (2g, 3a), Adam Jones (2g, 1a), Joel Dalgarno (1g, 2a) and Jordan McBride (1g, 1a) also had multiple-point performances.
ROUGHNECKS VS. MAMMOTH: The Roughnecks went 2-1 in the 2013 regular season against the Mammoth. After a 13-12 overtime loss to Colorado at home on Jan. 19, the Riggers rebounded with a 19-12 thumping of the Mammoth six days later in Denver. The ’Necks then won the season series by virtue of a 12-11 victory back in Calgary on March 23. Evans led the way offensively for Calgary in front of 11,232 fans at the ’Dome with 11 goals and 19 assists in the three-game set, while Dobbie (7g, 10a), Shattler (6g, 9a), Dickson (8g, 3a) and Snider (5g, 3a) were also dangerous. Grant Jr. led the Mammoth attack against the Riggers last year with 12 goals and seven assists in three games. Gavin Prout put up three goals and 11 helpers in the first two games against the ’Necks before being blanked in the third. Jones (4g, 8a), McBride (4g, 8a), Pollock (5g, 6a) and Jamie Lincoln (5g, 2a) were consistent contributors last season against Calgary as they hit the scoresheet in all three contests. Poulin went 2-1 in between the pipes for Calgary against Colorado, while Chris Levis went 1-1 in the Colorado net. Calgary has an all-time record of 15-14 (9-8 at home, 6-6 on the road) in the regular season against Colorado.
WEEKEND WRAP: The Roughnecks are coming off a busy weekend in which they suffered a 15-8 road setback to the Edmonton Rush on Friday before they bounced back the next night with a 15-12 win at home over the Vancouver Stealth. Dobbie led the way for the Roughnecks against the Rush as he fired a hat trick and added an assist, while both Leung and Evans put up three helpers each. Scott Ranger scored twice, Shattler had a goal and two assists, while Snider and Tor Reinholdt notched singles. Mark Matthews, the 2013 NLL Rookie of the Year, led the Rush with four goals and three helpers, while Curtis Knight (4g, 1a), Chris Corbeil (3g, 2a), Jarrett Davis (1g,2a), John LaFontaine (1g) and Robert Church (2g,1a) also got in on the action. Evans and Dobbie then had big nights to lead the ’Necks to victory over Vancouver in front of 8,957 fans at the ’Dome on Saturday. Evans had a hat trick to go with six assists, while Dobbie scored five times and set up another. “It was a wake-up call last night and I think we answered,” Evans said. “We needed a breakout game for our offence to get us going. Hopefully this leads us in the right direction.” Daryl Veltman also had a hat trick to go with two helpers for the ’Necks, while Shattler had two goals and four assists. Dickson (1g, 2a) and Ranger (4a) also had multiple-point performances. Poulin finished with 28 saves to backstop Calgary to the bounce-back victory. Rhys Duch led the Stealth attack with a hat trick and two assists, while Lewis Ratcliff scored twice and set up another. Jeff Moleski, Cliff Smith, Tyler Digby, Mike Grimes, Billy Hostrawser, Nick Weiss and Tyler Garrison also scored for Vancouver, while goalie Tyler Richards finished the game with 45 saves in the Stealth net.
MOUSE’S MUSINGS: Nicknamed ‘Mouse’, Curt Malawsky is entering his second season as head coach for the Roughnecks. Malawsky, who is also the assistant general manager, said he was definitely pleased with his team’s bounce-back effort against Vancouver last Saturday a night after a disappointing loss in Edmonton. “We got taught a lesson up in Edmonton, so it was a bit of a character gut check for our guys to see how we’d bounce back,” Malawsky said. “I was proud of the way the guys competed and the guys battled. I think we got our offence back on track.” Malawsky will be assisted by Bob McMahon as offence coordinator and Bruce Codd as defence coordinator. It’s the fourth season for McMahon on the Calgary coaching staff, while Codd is entering his second season with the Riggers.
A LOOK BACK: Led by the offensive exploits of Evans, the Roughnecks finished atop the 2013 NLL West Division with a 9-7 record. In his second season with the Riggers after being acquired from the Rochester Knighthawks, Evans led the NLL in scoring with 32 goals and 80 assists in 16 games. He finished the year with 112 points (fifth highest total in NLL history) and was chosen as NLL MVP. He was the second Calgary player to win the award, following Shattler in 2011. Dickson continued to improve in his third NLL season. He followed up a 31-goal sophomore season with a 42-goal effort. Among NLL goal scorers, Dickson finished third behind Duch and Grant Jr. Tallying 33 goals and adding 41 assists, Shattler finished second behind Evans in team scoring. Dobbie (40g, 32a), Ranger (20g, 33a) and Veltman (13g, 30a) also had solid seasons for the ’Necks. In net, Poulin was a workhorse for the Riggers as he compiled a 9-7 record to go with a 12.82 goals-against average and a .742 save percentage. After finishing first in the NLL’s West Division, the Riggers hosted Colorado (7-9) in the first round of the playoffs on April 27. Led by three goals and four assists from Shattler, the ’Necks downed the Mammoth 15-10 to advance. Veltman (1g, 5a), Evans (3g, 2a), Ranger (3g, 1a) and Dobbie (4a) also contributed to the win. Calgary then moved onto play the then-Washington Stealth (9-7) in the West Final at the ’Dome on May 4. Dickson scored seven times and added an assist in the second half of the game, but the Stealth squeaked out a 14-13 win to eliminate the ’Necks. Dobbie (3g, 2a), Evans (1g, 3a) and Shattler (4a) all played well in the loss.
RETURNING VETERANS: Captain Andrew McBride is one of 17 returning players on Calgary’s roster this year. Joining McBride on defence for another season is 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, Scott Ranger and Matthew Dinsdale. Geoff Snider and Curtis Manning return as transition players for the 2014 season. Mike Poulin will once again be the starter in between the pipes, while Frankie Scigliano will be counted upon as the back-up goalie.
NEW FACES: Three of the four new faces on the Roughnecks roster came from the 2013 NLL Entry Draft. Transition players Tor Reinholdt (1st round, 6th overall) and Karsen Leung (2nd round, 10th overall), and defenceman Garrett McIntosh (3rd round, 24th overall) all made the squad out of training camp. Free agent signing Cody Hawkins is also new to the Riggers.
LETTER MEN: McBride is back for another season as Calgary’s captain, while Mike Carnegie will again serve as an alternate captain. Dobbie and Snider will split alternate duties, with Snider wearing an ‘A’ at home and Dobbie wearing an ‘A’ on the road. “Geoff will be a great addition to our leadership group. Over the last few seasons he has evolved into an ambassador of the culture and standards created within the Roughnecks organization,” Malawsky said. “Dane’s passion and willingness to compete is second to none. He lives, breaths and sleeps lacrosse. The Roughnecks organization and his teammates are on his mind 24/7, and it is that kind of selflessness, dedication, commitment and passion that we are looking for in a leader.
DID YOU KNOW?: Geoff Snider used to be teammates with his younger brother Bob with the Philadelphia Wings during the 2010 campaign. For the past three seasons, the two face-off aces have battled against each other as members of the Roughnecks and Washington Stealth respectively. Colorado subsequently acquired Bob from Stealth, which relocated to Vancouver in the off-season, for Ilija Gajic last August. Saturday’s game will mark the second time the Snider brothers face off against each other this season. During Calgary’s 13-11 win over Colorado at home on Jan. 10, Geoff narrowly edged Bob in the faceoff circle as he won 13 of the 25 draws he took against his younger brother.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
- Curtis Dickson is tied with Tracey Kelusky for the franchise lead in all-time short-handed goals during the regular season at 12.
- Jeff Shattler needs just one point to get to 400, one penalty minute to reach 100 and three loose balls to hit 800.
- With three more goals, Dane Dobbie will reach the 200 mark.
- Mike Carnegie is five points away from 50 and one penalty minute away from 100.
- By scooping up 20 loose balls, Geoff Snider will reach 1,600 in just his eighth NLL season, while Dan MacRae needs 10 to hit the 200-mark in his fourth campaign.