Two teams fighting for their playoff lives, and both desperately needing a win will clash with each side having everything to gain and lose.
Here are five things to keep in mind for tomorrow night’s game:
1. SUPERMAN GOES FOR 300
Curtis Dickson has been giving goalies all sorts of problems since breaking into the league in 2011. Fast-forward to the present day and Superman is just two goals shy of reaching the 300-goal mark in his career. Thanks to his league leading 39 goals this season, Dickson continues to show why he is one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the league and will look to join teammate Dane Dobbie in reaching the milestone.
2. FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Acquired from the Buffalo Bandits during the NLL Trade Deadline, Creighton Reid will make his debut in Roughneck colours against the Knighthawks. Reid’s strong defensive play will add depth to the defensive core and help play the role of shutting down the oppositions top players. Roughnecks fans will get to see just why GM Mike Board has tried to swing a deal for the lefty in the past. With his eagerness to get that first game with Calgary under his belt, fans will also soon love what he brings to the table with his aggressive play style and ability to run in transition.
“I’m super pumped,” said Reid of playing with his new squad. “It’s a phenomenal way to come into a new group, if you’re coming in at a point where we’re playing exciting, high stakes games. They’re the most fun to play as a player and I just can’t wait to get into it with the boys.”
3. MIRROR IMAGE
Both the Roughnecks and Knighthawks find themselves in the basement of their respected West and East divisions. With both coming off a win the week prior, the Riggers defeated the Black Wolves 18-13 and the Knighthawks squeaked by the Bandits 11-10, the chance to go on a run to gain footing in the standings is on the line. Both have had a very up and down year, struggling to string together a winning streak. With only five weeks left in the regular season, both need to find a way to get on a streak to get a taste of post-season action. It’s a huge game for both teams and it has the makings to be a playoff-like battle.
4. DIALED IN
It’s no secret that the Roughnecks have been very hard to predict on what team will show up once the game starts. They either have trouble finding the back of the net or go crazy, racking up goals left, right and centre. If the Roughnecks are to come away with the win, they’ll need a strong start against a Rochester team who are no strangers to slow starts. Not only do the Riggers need to start off strong, but also go for the kill in the second half and keep their foot on the gas pedal. The Knighthawks started off slow last week down 8-5 at the half against the Bandits, till they woke up and scored six goals in the fourth quarter, while holding Buffalo to just two goals for the rest of the game. You can’t give any team a chance for a comeback, especially during playoffs.
5. THE MASKED MAN
Don’t let the overall record of Knighthawks goaltender Matt Vinc mislead you, Vinc has been one of the top goalies in the NLL despite his 5-7 record. With a 10.86 GAA, Vinc sits third in the league in that category and a .788 SV% which sits fourth in the league. Vinc continues to give the Knighthawks a chance to win whenever he’s in net and can often frustrate the opposing teams offence with his strong play. With the Roughnecks struggles on some nights to score, they’ll have to make it a long night for the 35-year-old goaltender and capitalize on their scoring chances. The Roughnecks have that offensive touch to jump on a goalie and they’ll need the offense to click on all cylinders against one of the best.
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