CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Roughnecks hosted the the Vancouver Stealth at the Rough House on Sunday in their final pre-season tune up.
Despite falling behind early, the Roughnecks would rally late in the fourth to win the game 13-12.
Here are five things that we noticed in the contest:
1) Remarkable Rookies: The Roughnecks had a number of new bodies in the lineup when they took to the floor Sunday. The departure of some longtime veterans opened the door for some fresh blood and the new sticks didn’t dissapoint. Outstanding performances from forwards Riley O’Connor, Welsey Berg and defenceman Tyson Bell and goaltender Christian Del Bianco suggest a bright future for the Roughencks.
2) On the offensive: Calgary’s attack put up 13 goals and and fired 52 shots on the Vancouver cage, spreading the ball all around the floor. An offense that lost the league’s top scorer in the off-season doesn’t seem like they’ll miss a beat. Tyler Digby looks like he’ll fit right into Curt Malawsky’s offensive scheme. The former Stealth sniper netter five goals while Rigger regulars Jeff Shattler and Dane Dobbie each had six-point outings.
3) Net Presence: The Roughnecks have it covered when it comes to goaltending. Frankie Scigliano got the start in the contest and played very well, making plenty of great saves while limiting the Stealth to six goals in two quarters. Mike Poulin replaced him in the third and allowed four goals on 10 shots, but made several big saves. Finally, second-round pick Christian Del Bianco took to the crease in the fourth quarter and was outstanding. He made some highlight reel saves and made nine saves on 11 shots. Regardless of who gets the nod for each game, the Roughnecks seem to have three great options in net.
4) Forcing the play: Right from the initial face-off until the final whistle, the Roughnecks were attacking the ball and hitting anything and everything that moved. One crazy stat from the pre-season game is forced 21 turnovers for the home team, 11 more than the Stealth. This is a good sign for Calgary — turnovers = possesion and possesion = goals.
5) In the circle: To start the game, Curtis Manning and Garrett McIntosh were splitting time in the face-off circle. By the end, Manning was taking the majority of the draws. Combined, they went 14-31 or 45 percent. Although the numbers may seem low, neither Manning or McIntosh have taken many face-offs in their NLL careers, and will likely improve as the season progresses.