CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Roughnecks were at home for Week 9 of the NLL season, taking on Mark Matthews and the Saskatchewan Rush. The Roughnecks took an early lead in the game but their Western rival battled back and eventually handed the Rigger’s a 12-11 overtime defeat.
Here are five things we noticed in the game:
1) KARSEN LEUNG
After scoring only one point in his first five games of 2016, Leung has come on of late and has netted a point in each of his last four games. He got his first goal of 2016 two weekend’s ago against the Vancouver Stealth in the 14-13 OT loss. This past weekend, Leung added another goal, and it was a beauty.
Take a look:
2) THE POULIN WALL
In each of the Roughnecks previous eight contests, Frankie Scigliano was the man between the pipes. However, after being relieved by back-up Mike Poulin in a handful of games, Calgary’s bench boss stated that Poulin earned the right to start the game against the Saskatchewan Rush. In his first start of the season, the Poulin Wall stood tall throughout the contest making some big saves to keep the game tied late in the game. Although the Roughnecks lost the game 12-11 in overtime, Poulin was fantastic, stopping 48 of the 60 shots that he face in the 65 minutes of play. With goaltending of this caliber, the Roughnecks need to take advantage and find a way to get over the hump and win the game.
3) ROUGHNECKS DEBUT
On February 19th, the Roughnecks signed the 6-foot-1 defenceman to the practice squad. When the NLL announced that rookie Kellen LeClair would be suspended for two games, it opened up a spot on the active roster for the newly minted Roughneck. In his Calgary debut, Burton was inserted into the starting line-up and was asked to take the draws as well. Facing Jerome Thompson, one of the better face-off men in the NLL, Burton performed admirably – winning 10 of 28 face-offs.
In addition, the defenceman added his first ever Roughnecks goal early in the second quarter, which, at the time, gave the Necks a 5-1 lead.
4) RIGHT SIDE
Coming into the season, it was expected that the offence would flow through Curtis Dickson and the right side of the offence. Against the Rush, the right side of the offence was instrumental on offence. While the left side of Jeff Shattler, Reilly O’Connor, and Tyler Melnyk combined for two goals and four assists, the right side combined for seven goals and 11 assists. This is a continuation of the success the Roughnecks have seen from their right side over the past number of games. Tyler Digby (15g, 9a), Wesley Berg (8g, 11a), and Dickson (15g, 19a) have been extremely productive with the ball on their stick.
5) POWER PLAY
As we’ve noted in past articles, the Roughnecks power play was extremely successful on the road, but had not been as productive at the Rough House. On Sunday, Calgary was given three opportunities with the man advantage. The Roughnecks earned a power play 43 seconds the game and found the back of the net 14 seconds later when Reilly O’Connor sniped a goal just inside the post. On the Riggers second power play, they shot themselves in the foot when Peter McFetridge took a penalty in the defensive end just over 30 seconds in. In the fourth quarter, Tyler Digby was able to net a power play goal in Calgary’s final chance with the man advantage. Having this success against the talented Rush penalty kill is a good sign going forward for the Necks.