CALGARY, AB — After a disappointing open to the season, the Calgary Roughnecks turned things around in their second game with a very strong performance against the Vancouver Stealth.
Here are five things we noticed from the game:
1) FRANK THE TANK
A couple days before his 26th birthday, Frank Scigliano received a fantastic present – a return from the Suspended List and a Roughnecks win. The big fella came to play and held the Stealth offence to six goals through three quarters of play. In the final frame, things began to unravel due to a barrage of penalties to the Riggers. As a result, Vancouver received two penalty shots within 45 seconds. Corey Small would net the first, but Frank would stop him with a great glove on the second attempt.
Frank Scigliano was fantastic on this night and the Roughnecks seemed to thrive with him stabilizing everything on the back-end.
After last week’s loss in which Curtis Dickson scored just once, he was not very pleased with his performance.
“We just can’t keep shooting ourselves in the foot and getting behind the eight-ball and getting down early. I put a lot of the blame on myself. That might have been the worst game I played as a Roughneck,” Dickson said.
With six goals and an assist on Saturday in the team’s win, you could tell that Dickson wanted to put the team on his back. His sock-trick performance was big for the Riggers and helped them earn their first win of the season. They will need Dickson to stay hot as they venture to Colorado for a rematch of last year’s West Semi-Final.
3) SPECIAL TEAMS UPS & DOWNS
There are plenty of positives and negatives in this area.
Let’s start with the bad news. On the night, the Roughnecks awarded the Stealth 13(!) power play opportunities, with the majority coming in the fourth quarter when they were attempting to make a comeback. They ended the game with 67 penalty minutes, more in a single game than any other team has through three weeks of play.
On the positive side of things, the penalty killing unit was spectacular, stopping nine of 13 Vancouver power plays. On their own power play opportunities, the Riggers were solid and scored on three of five chances. Add in a shorthanded goal and Calgary was even with the Stealth at four special teams goals each.
4) RISE OF RILEY
After joining the Roughnecks in an off-season deal with Saskatchewan, Riley Loewen was hoping for a big start. Unfortunately, he was held without a goal in his Riggers debut. The lefty would get the proverbial monkey off of his back quickly in game two as he opened the scoring for Calgary. In the second quarter, he added his second goal of the night that started a three-goal run for the Roughnecks.
As the third lefty behind Dane Dobbie and Jeff Shattler, Loewen can become a difference maker for Calgary if he can continue to find the back of the net. He is already a force without the ball, but add in the ability to find twine and defence’s suddenly have more to worry about when facing the Roughnecks offence.
5) QUICK START
In the Roughnecks home opener, they watched as the Stealth climbed out to a 5-2 lead after the first quarter and hold that lead all the way until the end. Calgary wanted to give Vancouver a taste of their own medicine.
And they did just that.
The Riggers gave up the first goal of the game on Saturday, but they rebounded with the next three. They kept hitting the gas and ended the first quarter leading 6-3. The difference between playing down versus playing up three goals is BIG!