CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Roughnecks are at home again to face the Rochester Knighthawks at Scotiabank Saddledome on March 5th at 7:00pm MT. The last time the two teams faced off in this building, the Knighthawks beat the Roughnecks, limiting them to a lowly seven goals.
Here are 5 things to watch for in the contest:
1) STOPPING THE STREAK
Losing three games in a row is one thing, but when all three loses come against division rivals, that stings. The Roughnecks will be looking to end their losing streak against Eastern rival Rochester. Looking to end their own losing streak, the Knighthawks be just as hungry as Calgary to collect a win in this contest. With each team needing a win, expect these two clubs to battle hard all game and fight tooth and nail for the W.
2) SECOND HALF
In the last two weeks, the Roughnecks have been fantastic in the first half of the game. They built 8-3 and 8-4 leads in the two games, respectively. However, the second half of the game was not nearly as kind to the Riggers. In each contest, Calgary was outscored in the back half and gave up the lead with minimal time remaining. Although the Roughnecks managed to tie the game back up in dramatic fashion in each game, they would eventually fall in overtime. Avoiding a second half collapse will be a top priority this weekend.
3) LIVE TUNES
For anyone who enjoys local Canadian music, you’re going to want to join us at Dutton’s before and after the game. Calgary band 36? will be performing some of their hit songs for fans, including songs from their 2014 release ‘Where Do We Go From Here.’ Founded in 2006, the band has grown and has since toured Western Canada and the UK.
Not yet a fan? Check out some of their music!
4) GOALIE BATTLE
After a great effort in net last weekend by Mike Poulin, it’s quite possible he finds himself anointed the starter once again this week. On the opposite end of the floor, the Knighthawks will likely look to five-time Goaltender of the Year winner Matt Vinc. So far this season, Vinc is rocking an 11.76 GAA and a .763 save percentage, while Poulin boasts a 10.92 GAA and a .792 save percentage. Both goaltenders have dealt with inconsistent defences in front of them, yet they have put up strong numbers and have given their teams opportunities to win. Either goaltender possesses the ability to steal a victory for his team and they should be key factors in the final result of this contest.
Fun Fact: In the past six years, only one net minder has beaten Matt Vinc for the NLL Goaltender of the Year Award – Mike Poulin (2012).
One of the most dangerous lefties in the NLL, Cody Jamieson is having a great return from his Achilles injury. Through seven games this season, the former NLL MVP has racked up 13 goals and 29 assists. Because of his big time abilities and the fact that he has been on fire lately means that he will attract a lot of attention from the Roughnecks defence. He drew that same type of attention when the Hawks were in Calgary in March of last season as well. In that contest, although Rochester won, Jamieson was largely shut down, only recording two assists. If the Roughnecks defence can control Jammer again this weekend, it will be a big step towards earning a win. That being said, they will still need to stop Dan Dawson, Joel Matthews, and Cory Vitarelli.