Three in a row. And not of the winning variety.
Now sitting just half a game out of last place in the West Division, the Roughnecks have gone from sitting comfortably at the top to feeling uncertain near the bottom.
Here’s five things we took from the game:
1) STARTING SLOW
This has been a common issue at home this season. In three of the team’s five home games, they’ve scored just two goals or less in the first quarter. At the Rough House, they are minus six in goals scored in the first quarter and have started the second quarter with a lead just once.
These slow starts have made a big difference in games. The Riggers are 3-0 when leading after one quarter, but 0-3 when trailing after one quarter. Going into the SaskTel Centre on Saturday, they won’t want to fall behind early, especially against a very strong Rush team.
While other teams are utilizing their transition game to attack the Roughnecks, Calgary has yet to unleash what should be a strong group with the likes of Tyson Bell, Dan MacRae, and Curtis Manning, among others.
MacRae and Bell picked up three assists between them, but no other defender made a contribution on offence. In total, the defence attempted just three shots on the night, but only one hit the net and that shot came from rookie Vaughn Harris.
With the offence struggling, coach Curt Malawsky may need to give the green light to the defence to push the ball in an attempt to spark the team.
Yes, we talk about Curtis Dickson a lot, but it’s almost a necessity when he keeps doing great things.
For the sixth straight game, Dickson scored three or more goals. That ability to get the ball to drop on a consistent basis has led to him being in a tie for the league lead in goals at 25. He is tied with the Swarm’s Lyle Thompson, although Thompson has a game in hand.
Dickson also netted six points, giving him five or more points in every game this season. At his current pace, he will reach 100 points for the second straight season.
Making your NLL debut is special regardless of what happens. It may not have ended with a win and he wasn’t able to record a point, but Harris was just happy to be back on the floor after a long absense due to an injury.
Here’s to many more games, kid!
5) DROPPING DIMES
On Saturday, a couple Roughnecks players hit some very big milestones when it comes to dishing out assists. Dane Dobbie and Curtis Dickson, to be specific.
Dobbie, who racked up four assists in the game, reached the 300 assist mark. Jeff Shattler (389) and Kaleb Toth (354) are the only other players in Roughnecks franchise history to reach that plateau.
While Dobbie joined the elite club of feeders in Roughnecks history, Dickson became just the eighth player in team history to hit the 200 assist level. He joins the aforementioned Shattler, Dobbie, and Toth, as well as Tracey Kelusky, Shawn Evans, Lewis Ratcliff, and Scott Ranger.