CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Roughnecks were in Vancouver for Week 16 of the NLL season, taking on Corey Small and the Vancouver Stealth. The Roughnecks and Stealth went back and forth in the contest, but Vancouver pulled ahead late and Calgary could not rally in time, losing 13-12.
Here are five things we noticed in the game:
1) ANOTHER ONE-GOAL GAME
If there is any indicator of just how competitive the Roughnecks have been this season, it’s the number of one-goal games they have played in this year. Through 17 games, eight of those outings have been decided by a single goal, with four of those games needing overtime. Unfortunately, the Necks record in these games is only 3-5. Looking further, the Necks had an additional three games decided by two goals. With a 1-2 record in those contests, Calgary is 4-7 in games decided by two or less goals. Meanwhile, in games with a 3+ goal spread, the Roughnecks are 5-1. Clearly, the Roughnecks can compete with every team in the NLL and are in the mix this season.
2) MILESTONE MAN
Sitting a point away from 600 for his career, Jeff Shattler wasted little time securing the milestone. 0:32 seconds into the game, Shattler opened the scoring and set the record in stone. He added another three goals and four assists to push his career total to 607.
With nine loose balls throughout the game, Shattler easily passed 1000 career loose balls. He became the 23rd player in NLL history to achieve that feat. His 1009 loose balls has him ranked first all-time among Roughnecks players.
3) FACING HIS FORMER TEAM
After being traded to the Roughnecks from the Stealth via the Black Wolves in the summer, Digby knew he would get his chance to make his former team pay for moving him. In four contests this season, the big righty has taken advantage of that situation. He has 10 goals and six assists in four games against Vancouver. On Saturday, Digby was a consistent force in the offensive zone for the Necks. The third year man scored a goal in each quarter, including one late to give the Riggers a chance to tie the game.
4) PLAYOFF SITUATION
Let’s clear this one up. With the loss on Saturday, the Roughnecks were not eliminated from the NLL Playoffs. In fact, they’re still in a great spot to claim the final spot in the West. Vancouver was in a must-win scenario last weekend and will be for the rest of the season. The Stealth must beat the Saskatchewan Rush next weekend and then defeat both the Colorado Mammoth and the Georgia Swarm on Week 18 if they want a chance to make the playoffs. If Vancouver loses any of those games, Calgary will clinch a spot. Should the Stealth win out, the Roughnecks can still clinch a playoff spot with a win against the Toronto Rock on April 30th at the Rough House.
To open the fourth quarter against the Stealth, Curtis Dickson scored a shorthanded goal to give the Roughnecks the lead. It wouldn’t be enough to help the Necks win the game, but it was enough to push his lead in the shorthanded goal category to three. With six shorties on the season, Dickson now doubles the closest competitors, which include his former running mate Shawn Evans, Mark Matthews, Mitch Jones, and Chris Corbeil. Since his rookie season, Dickson’s lowest single-season total for shorthanded goals was two. In total, Superman has scored 23 shorthanded markers and he has ranked among the top ten in the category each of the past three seasons.