CALGARY — The Calgary Roughnecks harnessed the power of The Force to defeat the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday at their Star Wars Party. They have now won three games in a row and have taken a one-game atop the West Division.
Here are five important takeaways from the game:
1) ALONE AT THE TOP
Jeff Shattler stole the show on Saturday, recording six points (1g, 5a) and becoming the new Roughnecks franchise points leader with 634!
We know it’s only four games into the season, but the Riggers are already two-thirds done their season series with the Mammoth. Having won the first two, they control the tie-breaker should the two teams finish the season with the same record. It may not mean anything, but Calgary is looking to reach the playoffs once again and having an advantage over a difficult divisional rival is huge.
“A thing that hasn’t really been touched on is the season series,” said coach Curt Malawsky. “Now we have the season series with them, which is huge. If they tie us in the standings, we’ve got the tie-breaker. It’s big for us to have that.”
3) THE JONNY SHOW
While you won’t find his name on the scoresheet, defenceman Jon Harnett had a big game for the Roughnecks. In his own end, the veteran scooped a solid seven loose balls and managed to force a ridiculous six turnovers. Those six caused turnovers are the most in a single game by a defender so far in 2017.
Harnett has been a key member of the Roughnecks defence for the past seven years and is having another strong season in Red and Black. Alongside his brother Greg, he is routinely asked to guard the toughest righties in the NLL. This past week, for example, he was tasked with limiting the ever-dangerous Callum Crawford.
4) THE PENALTIES KEEP ON COMING…
The Riggers moved into first place in the West Division on Saturday, but they also extended their hold of first place in penalty minutes this season. Calgary added 18 PIM in the game, bringing their four-game total to 149 minutes down a man.
Luckily for them, their penalty-kill has been up to the task. In 29 penalty-kill opportunities, the Roughnecks have only allowed 14 goals, which equates to a 51.72 PK percentage. That’s good enough for the third best penalty kill unit in the league.
“Obviously it’s a concern. We’ve dealt with it all year long. I’m not going to whine about it. The game happens really fast. It gives us more chances to work on our short-man, I guess,” laughed Malawsky.
5) THOSE STAR WARS JERSEYS ARE AWESOME
And to make it better, you can own one and help support STARS Air Ambulance!