With the pressure mounting with every game, the Roughnecks were cool, calm, and collected in Saturday’s important 11-9 win over the Knighthawks in Rochester.
Here’s five things we took from the game:
1) 300 FOR SUPERMAN
Curtis ‘Superman’ Dickson has joined the NLL’s elite 300-goal club and he did it in just 117 games. That’s an average of 2.57 goals per game since joining the league back in 2011.
His 300th career goal opened the scoring in the second half of the game, but he would cap off the evening with a hat-trick and the game-winning goal.
2) FANTASTIC FRANK
Despite missing Dan Dawson from their line-up, the Knighthawks offence came out guns blazing on Saturday.
But Frank Scigliano was ready.
The big man made some big saves early and repeatedly frustrated the Hawks forwards with huge stops in the first half. He continued his strong play throughout the second half and held the Knighthawks leading scorer, Kyle Jackson, to just one goal.
3) KILLING PENALTIES
It’s not a sexy job, killing penalties, but it’s a very important role in the NLL.
And for those on the Roughnecks PK unit, they were as good as can be in Saturday’s contest.
Calgary’s first penalty came in the third quarter, when Mitch Wilde was tagged with a holding call. The penalty-killing group played well and just under a minute into the powerplay, they drew an illegal substitution penalty on Rochester as they worked a quick break up the floor.
The Roughneck’s second and final penalty came late in the fourth quarter, with newcomer Creighton Reid being called for holding. Just as before, the Riggers PK unit forced the Knighthawks to take a penalty and negate the extra-man opportunity.
If Calgary can maintain this level of play on special teams, they will have a definite advantage moving into the last few weeks of the season.
4) LOEWEN’S ON FIRE
Left-hander Riley Loewen has really come to life in recent weeks, highlighted by his three-goal performance against the Knighthawks.
Acquired from the Saskatchewan Rush in the offseason, Loewen seems to have found his footing within the Riggers offence as he has now scored 10 points (5g, 5a) in his last three games.
Check out his hat-trick goal against Rochester.
5) ANOTHER STRONG START
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: when the Roughnecks have a great start, it bodes well for the rest of the evening.
Although they allowed the first goal of the contest to Dan Lomas, they responded well with plenty of great pressure in the offensive zone. They finished the first quarter up 3-2, but it could have been more if not for the great play of Matt Vinc. They improved upon that performance with an even better second quarter to hold a 6-3 lead at the half.
For the second straight week, the Riggers have given themselves a lead at the midway point of the game and have been able to harness that confidence to finish the job in the second half.
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