The Roughnecks went down to Georgia on the weekend and weren’t greeted with any southern charm.
Instead, the Swarm let loose and dominated the St. Patrick’s Day affair, winning 17-8. Calgary won the initial quarter 4-3, but couldn’t hold Georgia’s offence down as they exploded for eight second quarter goals, which would be all the offence they would need.
Here’s five things we took from the game:
1) SCOOPIN’ UP
On a per game basis, the Roughnecks are second-last in the NLL when it comes to picking up loose balls, averaging just 67.7 per game. However, out of 12 games they’ve played this season, Calgary has out-scooped their opponents in seven of those contests.
While not a reliable statistic for determining the game’s outcome — as evidenced by the Riggers 2-5 record when leading that category — giving your opponent more time of possession and second chances in the offensive zone is never a good thing.
Saturday saw the Roughnecks get out-scooped by the Swarm 105-74. Those 31 loose balls were the biggest margin of any game by the Riggers. Many of those loose balls resulted in scoring chances by the Swarm and helped them retain possession to keep the momentum on their runs.
2) SAVES GALORE
When you take a quick glance at the final score, you might think that Frank Scigliano was not very good between the pipes.
And while it wasn’t his finest moment in net, he was far from bad against the Swarm.
Georgia was finding lanes to shoot from throughout the game and finished the contest with a whopping total of 70 shots on net — many of those shots being quality scoring chances. But Scigliano stepped up in a big way and kept this game from getting out of control. The big man ended the game with a .757 save percentage, a really strong mark despite having 16 goals to his name. Give credit to Scigliano for a very strong outing.
3) STRONG START
We made reference earlier in the week to the fact that the Roughnecks had not yet won a game this year without leading after the first quarter. Well, apparently the players heard that message and went out and won the first quarter 4-3.
Unfortunately, the second part of that stat says that they’ve also never won a game if they’re trailing at halftime. You know what happened next. The Swarm went on an 8-1 run in the second quarter and took a big lead over the Riggers.
That’s all they would need as the trend continued and Calgary struggled to play catch-up, scoring just three goals in the second half.
4) RING THE BELL
After opening the game down three goals, sophomore Tyson Bell took things into his own hands and raced down the floor, scoring on a nice, physical move to get the Roughnecks on the board.
Continuing his strong play in the game, Bell scored a second goal near the end of the fourth quarter. Once again, he ran the floor in transition, but this time he just ripped a shot five-hole for the goal.
5) THREE OR MORE
With just eight goals in the game, the offence did have much to be pleased about. However, Curtis Dickson scored three of them, giving him his 9th hat-trick of the season.
Currently leading the league with 36 goals, Dickson has scored 33 of those in games in which he has recorded at least a hat-trick. In the three contests in which he has not recorded a hat-trick, Dickson has scored just three goals. At his current pace, he will score 54 goals, just shy of the 61 that he recorded last season.
If he can pick up that pace in the team’s six remaining games, he could threaten to score 60 goals once again and become the first ever player in the NLL to record 60 goals in back-to-back seasons.