CALGARY, AB — It may be early in the season, but Saturday marks an important inter-divisional match-up against the Vancouver Stealth.
We enlisted Roughnecks captain Mike Carnegie and his brother, Scott Carnegie to outline Calgary’s keys to victory this weekend.
Without further ado, here are your 3 keys to victory:
1) DEFENCE, DEFENCE, DEFENCE
Now it goes without being said that every team wants to play strong defence and limit the number of goals scored. That’s just common sense. But the Roughnecks know they will need to do just that if they want to beat the Stealth. Specifically, they will need to limit the chances by the elite scorers on the Vancouver roster, such as Rhys Duch, Corey Small, and Garrett Billings.
Mike Carnegie knows that the talented veteran offence of the Stealth can turn things up a notch in a hurry and that they must be disciplined to hold them off of the scoreboard.
“Being sharp defensively again. Holding that offence, they’ve got a lot of veteran guys up there. Cliff Smith, Rhys Duch, Corey Small, Garrett Billings, they’ve all been in the league a while. They could go off at ay moment and I think you saw that in the Saskatchewan game. I think we need to limit their big guns from scoring.”
2) RUN THE FLOOR
Through three games this season, the Roughnecks have routinely allowed opponents to score a few goals in transition. Think back to the home opener when Adrian Sorichetti collected a pass from Aaron Bold in full stride and buried a goal to ice the game 10-8. Limiting these opportunities will be an important factor for the Roughnecks as they face a team with some big, fast transition players like Tyler Garrison, Mitch McMicheal, and former Roughneck Travis Cornwall, among others.
“Transition will be huge,” said Scott Carnegie. “They like to run, they have some athletes on the back end. If we can cut off their transition and score a couple of our own, that could be the difference.”
Transition works two ways. The Roughnecks are hoping to jump start their own transition game and score a few goals to help support their offence.
“The second key is trying to score in transition,” noted Mike Carnegie. “We need to be able to support our offence. The offence’s job is to try to score goals and generate production, but we need to help them and we haven’t done that to the best of our abilities.”
3) HAPPY FEET
The bye-week can be a tricky obstacle during the season. While the time off is nice for the players to relax and rest up, it provides the challenge of staying in game shape and being ready to play. The message for the two weeks prior to the game has to been to ‘Stay with it’. While the guys have been keeping up with their fitness, they will also have an early practice on Friday where they will go hard in preparation for the game. Making sure they are ready for the game is paramount.
“The third key is being ready right from the get go. Can’t have lazy feet,” opined Mike Carnegie. “Everyone needs to buy in from the first quarter, not spotting them any leads. Let’s get going right away and let’s impose our will on this game.”