News and notes previewing the Roughnecks/Swarm game on Saturday.
LOOKING TO REBOUND: The Calgary Roughnecks (2-3) will look to return to their winning ways on Saturday night against the Minnesota Swarm (1-4) at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, MN. The Riggers haven’t played since they suffered a 14-13 overtime setback to the Colorado Mammoth at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Jan. 25. “I think it was good for our guys to have that bit of a break and get to refocus,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky. “I know they’re champing at the bit to get back. We need to get a lot better. It’s just a matter of getting back to work and doing the honest things that make our team successful because we’ve gotten away from that.” Meanwhile, the Swarm will be looking to snap a two-game losing skid against the ’Necks on Saturday. “The compete level is not where it needs to be right now,” said Swarm assistant coach Aime Caines. “We can’t fall too far behind in the East because everyone’s getting wins in the East. We need to keep pace and get on track here. We’ve been on the road four out of our five games, so we’re looking forward to being at home the next two games.”
RESILIENT RIGGERS FALL IN OT: John Grant Jr. scored at 2:09 of overtime to lead the Mammoth to a 14-13 win over the ’Necks at the Saddledome on Jan. 25. The NLL veteran surprised Calgary goalie Mike Poulin with a behind-the-back goal from the slot as the Mammoth avenged a 13-11 setback to the Riggers in Calgary on Jan. 10. “He deserved to put the ball in the net,” Malawsky said. “He took a beating all night long and a 37-year-old putting it behind the back, that’s a world class finish.” On Pete The Plumber Superhero Night, several Roughnecks had stellar showings in front of a raucous crowd of 9,121 fans. Dane Dobbie scored twice and had four assists to lead the way for the Riggers, while Jeff Shattler also had a six-point outing with a goal and five helpers. Shawn Evans (2g, 3a), Curtis Dickson (2g, 1a), Dan MacRae (2g), Scott Ranger (2g), Daryl Veltman (1g, 1a) and Curtis Manning (1g) also scored. Poulin stopped 29 of 41 shots he faced in the Calgary net, while Frankie Scigliano finished with three saves on five shots. Adam Jones counted seven goals and one assist to lead the Mammoth attack. Grant finished the game with a hat trick and also set up another for Colorado, while Dan Ball and Joey Cupido chipped in with a goal and an assist each. Jackson Decker and Athan Iannucci also scored, while goalie Dillon Ward made 35 save to record the win.
ROUGHNECKS VS. SWARM: Calgary went 2-0 against Minnesota during the 2013 NLL campaign. The Riggers edged the Swarm 17-16 on Feb. 16 in St. Paul and then downed Minnesota 19-15 at home less than a month later on March 8. Evans paced the Calgary attack against Minnesota last season with three goals and 16 assists, while Dobbie chipped in by scoring nine times to go with six helpers. Ranger (8g, 5a), Shattler (6g, 5a) and Dickson (5g, 3a) also fared well against the Swarm in 2013. Poulin was in net for both wins over Minnesota last season, making 67 saves along the way. Ryan Benesch, who’s now with the Buffalo Bandits, led the Swarm attack last season against the ’Necks with seven goals and six assists. The Riggers will have to be wary of current Swarm forwards Kiel Matisz (4g, 7a), Shayne Jackson (3g, 7a) and Callum Crawford (3g, 7a), who all hit double digits in points against Calgary last year. The Roughnecks have compiled an all-time record of 8-5 (5-3 at home, 3-2 on the road) in the regular season against the Swarm.
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 his players are excited to get back at it against the Swarm this weekend following a bye week. “We are who we are at this point,” Malawsky said. “We’re a 2-3 team and, quite frankly, we’ve played like it. By no means are we feeling sorry for ourselves. We deserve to be in the exact spot we’re in, but we’re excited to get back at it. I think this group has a lot to prove to themselves. The guys are looking forward to going at ’er on Saturday night.” 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.
DID YOU KNOW?: When Adam Jones scored seven times in Colorado’s 14-13 OT win over Calgary on Jan. 25, it was just the third time in club history that an opponent notched seven goals in a regular-season game against the Riggers. Back on Jan. 25, 2003, John Tavares scored seven times to lead the Buffalo Bandits to a 23-17 win at home over the ’Necks, while Jeff Zywicki accomplished the feat in Calgary on Jan. 12, 2007, as his San Jose Stealth beat the Riggers 17-16 in overtime.
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.
- With one more goal, Dane Dobbie will reach the 200 mark.
- Daryl Veltman is six assists away from 200.
- Mike Carnegie is six points away from 50.
- By scooping up 11 loose balls, Geoff Snider will reach 1,600 in just his eighth NLL season, while Dan MacRae needs six to hit the 200 mark in his fourth campaign.
- Dobbie is 15 points away from 400, while Shawn Evans needs 18 points to reach 600.