CALGARY, AB — This weekend, the Calgary Roughnecks are back home to face the Saskatchewan Rush at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 28th at 2:00 PM MT. The last time the two teams faced off in this building, the Rush spoiled the Roughnecks Home Opener.
Here are 5 things to watch for in the contest:
1) SUPERMAN REPEAT?
Curtis Dickson put on quite the show for the fans in Langley last weekend as he netted five goals – including a beautiful between the legs marker – and added four assists. Coming off of his best effort of the season, Superman is tasked with taking on the big, strong defence of the Saskatchewan Rush. What will he do for an encore? No one knows, but he will need to have another strong performance for the Roughnecks if they hope to knock off their division rivals and get back into the win column.
2) SHAVING DAY
You’ve probably noticed, but captain Mike Carnegie and Dickson have been rocking pink hair for the last week. The reason behind this is that they are trying to raise money for Hair Massacure, a foundation that is helping children with life-threatening illnesses. The Grand Finale for the 2016 Hair Massacure campaign is happening after the game on Sunday, where Carnegie and Dickson, along with many other participants, will have their hair shaved or cut on the floor.
The Roughnecks Foundation is going to match donations up to $5,000. Please consider making a donation and helping such an amazing cause!
3) O’CONNOR RISING
After a shaky start to the season, rookie Reilly O’Connor has turned a corner and is starting to provide dividends for the Roughnecks. In his last two games, O’Connor has notched three goals and seven assists to go along with 10 loose balls. The lefty has even seen success against the Rush already this season. In two games against the West rival, O’Connor had four assists and six loose balls.
The rookie has stepped up with an increased role as Dane Dobbie is on the IR with an upper body injury. He will be a key factor in Calgary’s offence once again this weekend, but he will attract more attention from the defenders as he is starting to show why he was the seventh overall selection in the 2015 NLL Draft.
The transition game played a big factor in the Roughnecks losses to the Rush earlier this season. Saskatchewan has continued to show a strong ability pushing the offence from the back-end. They are lead by captain Chris Corbeil and Ryan Dilks. Corbeil is tied with Rougnecks Dan MacRae for first in the NLL for most points by a defenceman with nine. Calgary saw their transition game have success last weekend against the Stealth as MacRae and Karsen Leung both scored goals. Previously, the Riggers have seen the Harnetts and rookies Tyson Bell and Kellen LeClair add big goals from the back-end. The difference in this contest could be the success of the transition game, so the Roughnecks will need a team effort to claim a victory against the Rush.
In the Roughnecks last game against the Rush, Saskatchewan’s Zach Greer lit the lamp seven times to help beat Calgary. Greer scored six of those goals in the second quarter of that game as part of a seven goal run by the Rush. The Whitby, ON, native has 17 goals and eight assists through six games this season and will be hoping to add another big number this Sunday. He will need to be a focus of the Roughnecks defence as they can not afford to let a single player beat them the way that Greer was able to do in Saskatoon.