CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Roughnecks are back in the Rough House this weekend to face the NLL leading Colorado Mammoth on March 19th at 7:00pm MT. The Roughnecks ended a four-game losing streak last weekend, but are in tough against a team they have not played well against at home.
Here are 5 things to watch for in the contest:
1) STOPPING ADAM JONES
This is a big one. Mammoth forward Adam Jones is a goal scoring machine. Two weekends ago, he scored a fourth-quarter sock-trick against the New England Black Wolves, helping him lock up the NLL record for most consecutive games with a goal at 56. With 17 goals in his past three games, it will be paramount for the Roughnecks defence to give some of their focus to the talented lefty. The last time these two teams met, the Roughnecks gave up four goals to Jones. This is a definite match-up to watch in the contest. Will Calgary be able to end the streak?
2) O’CONNOR’S FIRST
Rookie Reilly O’Connor had a slow start to the season and hadn’t recorded a goal through six games. Heading into Week 7, the Roughnecks would be without Dane Dobbie, and O’Connor would be forced into a bigger role. It took until the fourth quarter of the contest, but the rookie would score his first NLL goal. Since that time, his confidence has taken off and he has recorded 14 points in his last four games. Now with Dobbie back in the line-up, the improved play of O’Connor has made the Roughnecks left side significantly more dangerous.
3) AVOID THE BOX
A key point most nights, but avoiding the penalty box could be even more important against Colorado. The Mammoth own a 56.5 percent road power play, which is lead by Jones, who has nine power play goals on the season. Also, Colorado commits the least number of penalties per game in the NLL, so the Roughnecks may not get many chances with the man advantage. Averaging 16.55 penalty minutes per game, the Roughnecks will hope to earn few against a top tier power play unit. Staying out of the sin bin could be the difference in the contest.
Let’s be honest, it’s always a treat to watch Superman work. But a week after Curtis Dickson pulled off a sock-trick and possibly the greatest goal ever scored, you should pay a little more attention. Dickson is the catalyst for the Roughnecks offence and is leading the team with 59 points. His 35 goals puts him second in the NLL behind only Dhane Smith of the Buffalo Bandits. In his last four games, Dickson has 27 points – 6.75 points per game. Against the Mammoth earlier this season, Dickson was held to only one goal, but contributed four assists to help his squad. He will be looking for more this Saturday.
5) LOTS AND LOTS OF REDNECKS
It’s ‘Redneck Night’ at the Rough House and many fans will be rocking their camo and other apparel. In addition, Justin Martin and Mountain Man of A&E’s Duck Dynasty will be joining us at the game. Mountain Man will be returning for his second Roughnecks game, while Martin will experiencing his first ever NLL game! Get gussied up in your boots and came and join us for a true redneck shindig! YEEHAW!