CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Roughnecks opened the 2016 NLL season Saturday against the Saskatchewan Rush. After taking a 6-2 lead into halftime, the Roughnecks fell 10-8 in the tilt.
Here are five things we noticed in the game:
1) First of the Year: Just 1:21 seconds into the contest, it was transition player Dan MacRae who registered the Roughnecks first goal of the 2016 season. After Brandon Goodwin tipped a pass right to MacRae, he ran the floor and sniped one by Aaron Bold. This goal was scored 14 seconds faster that last season’s first tally, which was netted by now-captain, Mike Carnegie.
2) On the Draw: Losing Geoff Snider in the off-season meant that the Roughnecks would need to rely on Curtis Manning and Garrett McIntosh in the circle. While not at the same percentage level as Snider, their combined 50 percent was passable. For two men who have not taken many face-offs in their NLL careers, it is expected that they will continue to improve on the draw.
3) Frankie: Frankie Scigliano was on the floor for all but 23 seconds of the Roughnecks loss, with all 10 goals coming against him. Although he recorded the loss, Scigliano was making save after save and gave his team a chance to win the game. At times, he was left out to dry with the Rush scoring a few goals on the breakaway. Scigliano made 37 saves on 47 shots and had a 10.06 GAA and a .787 save percentage. If he can continue to play at this level, the Roughnecks will stand to be in many games and he should win quite a few games this season.
4) First Ever: It probably wasn’t the way he envisioned it, but Wesley Berg, a fourth overall pick, scored his first NLL goal in his first NLL game.
This goal is a must-see! Check it out…
5) Special Teams: Penalties played a key role in the game. For Saskatchewan, their man-advantage was not overly successful in scoring once on four chances. Their penalty kill, however, was a mixed bag. While they allowed the Roughnecks to score on four of their eight power plays, the Rush managed to score two short-handed goals — the start of their comeback. Avoiding short-handed goals and maintaining their success with an extra man will be crucial as the Roughnecks move forward.