CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Roughnecks were at home for Week 7 of the NLL season, taking on Adam Jones and the Colorado Mammoth. The Roughnecks took an early lead in the game, but they could not sustain that momentum and eventually fell 13-8 to their Western rival.
Here are five things we noticed in the game:
1) MEMORABLE MOMENT
It took longer than Reilly O’Connor would have liked, but the Roughnecks rookie was able to find the back of the net for the first time in his career. The lefty was able to beat Colorado’s Dillon Ward on a low bouncer that brought the Necks within a goal early in the third quarter.
It will be a goal he won’t soon forget. Check it out!
2) LOOSE BALLS
On Saturday, the Roughnecks did not beat the Mammoth in terms of goals, but they managed to scoop more loose balls than their Rocky Mountain Rival. Calgary grabbed 77 loose balls, while Colorado picked up 69.
For a team that has struggled to score, maintaining possession in the offensive zone and getting second chance opportunities is huge. Against the Mammoth, the Roughnecks offence contributed 32 loose balls, giving them many extra chances to help create offence. Jeff Shattler lead the way for all Roughnecks with 10 loose balls. Tyler Digby (8), Curtis Dickson (7), Wesley Berg (3), O’Connor (3), and Brandon Goodwin (1), each added at least one loose ball.
3) IMPRESSIVE START
When the Roughnecks drafted Wesley Berg fourth overall in the draft, they expected him to be successful immediately in a big role with the offence. Despite quality performances, Berg was relatively quiet in his first few NLL games, before having a big six-point night against the Rush a couple of weekends ago. His confidence is quickly rising and the young man has continued to improve. Against the West-leading Mammoth, the righty had countless chances but was denied on the doorstep a number of times by Dillon Ward. If not for the superb play of the goalie, Berg could have had a few more than the three that he scored in the contest. Those three goals represented the rookie’s first ever NLL hat-trick.
With Dane Dobbie out of the line-up, it will give Berg more opportunities to find the back of the net. Expect to see Berg light the lamp quite a few times in the coming weeks.
4) TIMES SHORT-HANDED
The Roughnecks have struggled staying out of the penalty box in 2016. They lead the league in times short-handed with 38. However, Calgary made only three stops in the sin bin on Saturday against the Mammoth. Unfortunately, one of those times was a five-minute major by rookie Kellen LeClair. The defence was very strong on the major and after killing the first four minutes, the Mammoth were able to strike quickly on two goals to take the lead. Despite giving up the two goals, the Roughnecks penalty kill was pretty strong and stopped one of two other power play chances by Colorado. The results with the man-down may not have been to the Roughnecks liking, but they can be positive about staying disciplined throughout the game.
5) STEPPING UP
Digby has been a goal scoring machine in his first two seasons in the NLL, recording 60 goals in 36 games. Heading into 2016, everyone expected more of the same from the big man. However, getting used to his new environment in Calgary, he started the season ‘slowly’, with six goals in the first five games. In his past two games, Digby has come alive and netted eight goals – five against the Swarm and three against the Mammoth. Currently on pace for 36 goals, if Digby continues to have these type of big games, he could reach the 40-goal plateau for the first time in his career.