CALGARY, AB – The Calgary Roughnecks have the weekend off and they’re going to need it before their biggest game of the season.
After playing seven games in three weekends, the team is getting a well-deserved break. However, there is still plenty for them to do.
“Just keeping in shape, watching lots of film,” said Roughnecks defenseman Garrett McIntosh. “We have a nice homework assignment. Curt [Malawsky] wants us to send him what we’ve been doing athletically to keep in shape and what we’ve been doing to look at the film.
“We’re looking at the film breakdown, definitely going to watch the game this weekend. Make sure that we know, defensively, the ins and outs of Vancouver’s offence.”
While not playing this weekend, the team is still preparing for an upcoming affair with Vancouver for the final playoff spot in the West Division.
They understand what is on the line and know that this is what they’ve been working towards all season long.
“I think the mantra since we went 0-6 was, ‘We’ve got to get in, we got to try and get it’,” said veteran Roughnecks defender Mike Carnegie. “Anything can happen. It feels good to be able to play one game and get in. The league is tight; there are a lot of great teams this year.
“If you have a couple bad games, you’re going to be behind the eight ball. Unfortunately that was our season, but that was the regular season. Now we’ve got the chance to play one game and have a different season.”
The Roughnecks have faced the Vancouver Stealth three times already this season and are still searching for their first victory.
Losses of 18-14 and 13-9 to the Stealth book-ended a 0-6 start to Calgary’s season – the worst start in franchise history. Despite the poor start, the team rallied back to go 6-5 since, beating the Stealth 16-13 along the way. On the season, the Roughnecks are 1-2 against Vancouver.
“We’ve known that our destiny has been in our hands for the last little bit here,” Roughnecks transition player Travis Cornwall said. “We’ve been trying our best to get into the playoffs for our fans and make a run at the Championship. We have confidence regardless of what our record was against them. At this point of the season, we’re not thinking at all about what happened before. It’s just about the next game and moving forward into the playoffs.”
Now it’s just a matter of time until they have the chance to finish the comeback.
While the game will only determine which team comes out with a playoff spot, it already has the feel of a playoff game for both Calgary and Vancouver.