DENVER, CO — The Calgary Roughnecks survived a trip into The Hive, but their journey isn’t over.
Now in Colorado tonight, the Roughnecks (6-7) will venture into the Pepsi Centre to face the West-leading Mammoth (8-3).
This is Calgary’s first and only regular season trip to Denver. They’ve faced Colorado twice already this season, with the latest coming last weekend in Calgary. In that contest, the game remained tied at halftime, but the Roughnecks came out strong and stayed out in front the rest of the way, winning 13-9.
Mike Poulin and the defence were able to put an end Adam Jones’ incredible 56-game goal scoring streak. In fact, he did not find the scoresheet at all.
After the game, coach Malawsky joked that he pities the team that Jones plays next. Unfortunately, that team is the Roughnecks.
Stopping Jones will be a task Saturday, especially after having battled hard with the Georgia Swarm on Friday. However, Curtis Manning, a key component in shutting Jones down, will be completely fresh after sitting out Friday’s game.
Also helpful for the Roughnecks will be that Colorado’s talented forward Jeremy Noble will be out of action tonight due to a suspension he earned last weekend against Calgary.
Coming off of a big victory over the Swarm Friday, the Roughnecks have won three games in a row and their confidence is soaring.
Dane Dobbie had his best game since coming off of the IR, recording four goals and five assists. Meanwhile, Curtis Dickson recorded his second sock-trick in three weeks and also added five assists and will be looking for an encore performance against the Mammoth.
For another forward, the trip to Denver is almost like a trip home.
Wesley Berg spent four years at the University of Denver where he helped lead the Pioneers to the 2015 NCAA National Championship.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Wesley Berg said with a smile. “Denver is a great sports town, it’s very similar to Calgary that way. Everybody gets behind their sports teams. The Mammoth game are really exciting and loud. It’ll be good to play in the Pepsi Center, as a student I went to plenty of games there.”
Unfortunately, the DU lacrosse team is on the road this weekend, so they won’t be able to com cheer on their former captain, but Berg will have plenty of other friends there to cheer him on.
The battle between the pipes could be very different in this game than it was a week ago.
After Alex Buque was saddled with the loss last weekend, it’s a possibility the Roughnecks may see Dillon Ward between the pipes. Ward was in net when the Mammoth beat Calgary earlier in the season.
For the Roughnecks, Mike Poulin and Frankie Scigliano both played significant minutes against the Swarm and it would be either net minders crease come game time. The decision may come down to which goaltender is the most rested.
Rest will be scarce for the Riggers as they left Georgia late Frida. Losing an hour, dealing with jet lag, and recovering from Friday’s game, this weekend will take its toll physically on the Roughnecks players.
That won’t stop Calgary from being all-in for this big time match-up.
The Mammoth will be trying to secure a spot in the playoffs with a win, while the Roughnecks will be trying to separate themselves from the Vancouver Stealth for the last playoff spot in the West.
The Roughnecks are ready and looking to extend their winning streak.
“It’s tough playing back to back, but now we’re getting some good flow in our game,” admitted Berg. “We’re coming out with a lot more confidence and we’re ready to get two wins.”