CALGARY, AB — The National Lacrosse League announced the 2016 regular season schedule on September 8th, and while each and every game is important, here are five games on the Calgary Roughnecks schedule that you should mark on the calendar:
January 2nd vs. Saskatchewan Rush
To open the 2016 season, the Roughnecks will host the defending NLL Champion Saskatchewan Rush at Scotiabank Saddledome. In a rematch of the West Division Final, this game will no doubt be a tough battle. With the Rush’s roster mainly unchanged from 2015, they are still a championship quality team and will present a big test for Calgary. With stars like Aaron Bold and Mark Matthews, you won’t want to miss this one.
January 9th at Buffalo Bandits
In 2015, the two teams met at the Rough House with the game going back and forth before Jerome Thompson ended the game in overtime. With Daryl Veltman leaving the Roughnecks to join Dhane Smith, Ryan Benesch, and the Buffalo Bandits, the Roughnecks will have their hands full. This time around, Calgary will invade Buffalo and look to win their first road game of the year.
February 6th vs. Georgia Swarm
The Georgia Swarm did not have a great 2015 season, finishing with a 6-12 record. Due to some trades in the past few years, Georgia will have four of the first six picks in the NLL Draft. In what many believe is a great draft, the Swarm will have a new, young look in 2016. They could feature the likes of Lyle Thompson, Jesse King, Wes Berg, or Graeme Hossack. For those that want to see some elite young talent, this is the game for you.
March 19th vs. Colorado Mammoth
After knocking the Colorado Mammoth out of the playoffs for a second straight year, the Rocky Mountain Rivalry is alive and well. In the offseason, Colorado added one of the biggest free agent fish in Callum Crawford. Joining Adam Jones and John Grant Jr., the Mammoth will once again boast a great offensive unit. This is the second of three games against their division rival in 2016.
April 30th vs. Toronto Rock
After losing to the Rush in the 2015 Champion’s Cup, the Toronto Rock will undoubtedly be a motivated team. With little roster change, they will once again be favourites to challenge for the NLL title. In two games against Toronto in 2015, the Roughnecks did not fair that well, losing 12-11 and 12-10. With two games against the Eastern foe in 2016, the Roughnecks will look to flip the script. After winning the final game in 2015 against the Vancouver Stealth, the final game of 2016 against the Rock should be quite anticipated.