Geoff Snider has proven he’ll do whatever it takes to help the Calgary win.
So far this season, Geoff Snider has proven that he’ll do whatever it takes to help the Calgary Roughnecks win games.
Whether he’s fighting hard to win faceoffs, battling along the boards for loose balls, dropping his gloves to fight an opponent or helping out on offence with goals and assists, Snider has earned a reputation as one of the most versatile players in the National Lacrosse League.
Although Calgary has lost two home straight games, both in overtime, Snider said that he and his teammates care about winning so much that he has no doubt that the Roughnecks (2-2) will turn things around.
“The best part about this group is they hate losing so much that it spills over in the locker room and guys are upset,” said the 30-year-old Calgary native, who’s in his second season with the Roughnecks after playing his first four NLL campaigns with the Philadelphia Wings. “When you’re in our locker room after a loss, it looks like you just lost the championship game.”
Snider went into this past weekend as the league leader in faceoff winning percentage and loose balls collected. Despite the fact that the Roughnecks didn’t play a game on the weekend, Snider led both by such a wide margin that he’s still atop both categories.
Through four games this season, Snider has won 82 of 103 faceoffs he’s taken for a 79.6 per cent success rating.
“It’s one of those jobs that you don’t get a lot of praise for it,” explained the 5-foot-10, 210-pound transition player. “Go in there, get your nose dirty, scuff up your knees and get the ball. I started doing it because no one else wanted to do it. It was one of those things where you do your best to make something of it.”
Snider has also scooped up an NLL-best 59 loose balls to put him at 1,119 for his six-year career.
“Any time you can get into a corner and scoop a loose ball and gain possession of the ball and throw it up to your offence, it’s another possession that (opponents) can’t put the ball in the back of your net,” Snider explained. “As a defensive player, it’s really a measure of how you’re competing and how you’re involved in the game.”
This coming weekend, Geoff will face perhaps his toughest test in the faceoff circle when he goes up against his younger brother Bob, who plays for the Washington Stealth.
“The poor kid, I dragged him into facing off a little bit to get on the field more and he’s done really, really well with it,” said Geoff, who’s four years older than Bob. “I’m hoping that he just doesn’t figure some other things out because I’ll be in trouble.”
The two Snider brothers will go head-to-head on Friday night (8 p.m.) when the Roughnecks travel to Everett, Wash., to face the Stealth (1-3) for the second time this season.
“There’s a lot of bad blood and a lot of reasons to play really well and play really hard,” Geoff said. “Obviously I never want to lose to my little brother, so for me it’s personal.”
Dane Dobbie had a hat trick to lead the Riggers to a 13-10 win over the Stealth on Jan. 13 at the Comcast Arena. Geoff Snider had an impressive game for Calgary with a goal and two assists in addition to going 17-for-26 in the faceoff circle and scooping up 17 loose balls.
The elder Snider brother is counting on a repeat performance this Friday against the Stealth to help the ’Necks get back in the win column.
“Everybody’s pissed, everybody’s angry and everybody’s champing at the bit to get out there because they all want to have that opportunity to make a difference,” he said.
Snider and the rest of his Roughneck teammates aren’t pleased that they let a pair of fourth quarter leads slip away which resulted in back-to-back overtime losses at the Scotiabank Saddledome to the Colorado Mammoth on Jan. 21 and the Toronto Rock a week later.
“We’ve got to be able to close out games,” Snider said. “We’ve got to be able to step on the gas. We’re an athletic, young team. It’s not an effort problem. The guys are all working very, very hard. We’re very well coached. It’s just a matter of being able to deal with some adversity when you face it and then turn around and be able to step on the gas and close a game out. We just haven’t been able to do that.”
That being said, Snider noted that it’s almost impossible to win every game during an NLL season and that the Riggers just have to learn from their mistakes moving forward.
“With the adversity that we’ve faced and the successes that we’ve had, it’s only going to make this group better and stronger,” he said. “We’re not going to win them all. The thing is that we need to get into the playoffs and that’s what’s most important.
“Obviously we want to win our division, but we’re scrapping. We’re scrapping to get there. We’re hungry and we’re young. We’re learning some things. I’d rather lose two now then lose two at the end of the year. Let’s get these out of the way.”