RIGGER RAMBLINGS: Tonight the Calgary Roughnecks will open the West Division final, presented by RE/MAX, against the defending champion Saskatchewan Rush. With support from our sponsors and fans, the Roughnecks and its charitable arm, the Calgary Roughnecks Foundation, have joined the Canadian Red Cross relief efforts in Fort McMurray by directing $4 from every ticket sold along with RE/MAX 50-50 proceeds to the rebuild. The Roughnecks advanced to the second round of the post-season following an 11-10 overtime victory against the Colorado Mammoth last Saturday at Pepsi Center. Dane Dobbie notched the game winner at 10:17 of overtime to end the longest playoff game in NLL history. Curtis Dickson forced the extra frame with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation, netting his fifth goal of the night, while Mike Poulin finished the game with 56 saves for Calgary. Next weekend the series shifts to SaskTel Centre for Game 2 on Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. In the event of a series split, a 10-minute tiebreaker game will be played immediately following the conclusion of Game 2 to determine the winner of the series.
VS SASKATCHEWAN: This evening marks the third time the Roughnecks and Rush have met in the West Division final and fifth time the two clubs have faced off in either the first or second round of the playoffs. In 2015, the Rush defeated the Roughnecks 10-8 in Game 1 of the West Division final at Rexall Place. Calgary then evened the series with a 12-9 win at home on May 23, forcing the 10-minute tiebreaker. Dane Dobbie opened the scoring in the early minutes of the tiebreaker before Mark Matthews, with a pair of goals including an empty net marker, Jeff Cornwall and Ben McIntosh replied for the Rush to secure the win.
All-Time Playoff Records
All-Time: 3-5 Last CGY Win: May 23/15, 12-9 at the Scotiabank Saddledome
All-Time in CGY: 2-3 Last SAS Win: May 23/15, 4-1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome (tiebreaker)
All-Time in SAS: 1-2
Regular Season Series Recap
Calgary and Saskatchewan met four times during the regular season. The Rush picked up the win in all four matches and outscored the Roughnecks by a combined 52-40. Curtis Dickson (10g, 14a) led Calgary with 24 points against the Rush while Robert Church (10g, 13a) topped Saskatchewan with 23 points in the regular season series. Last year, the Roughnecks and Rush split the series 2-2.
Jan. 2/16 at CGY: SAS 10 CGY 8 … Calgary and Saskatchewan entered the fourth quarter tied 6-6.
Feb. 5/16 at SAS: SAS 19 CGY 12 … Six second-quarter goals by Zack Greer powered the Rush to victory.
Feb. 28/16 at CGY: SAS 12 CGY 11 (OT) … Zack Greer scored 5:04 seconds into OT, his second goal of the game.
Apr. 2/16 at SAS: SAS 11 CGY 9 … Mark Matthews led the Rush with three goals and three assists.
Shots on Goal: CGY 181 SAS 214 Power Plays: CGY 11-23 (47.8%) SAS 15-28 (53.6%)
All-Time Regular Season Records
All-Time: 26-14 Last CGY Win: Apr. 10/15, 9-8 at the Scotiabank Saddledome
All-Time in CGY: 10-8 Last SAS Win: Apr. 2/16, 11-9 at SaskTel Centre
All-Time in SAS: 16-6
HEAD-TO-HEAD: 2016 REGULAR SEASON
Category Roughnecks (8-10) Rush (13-5)
Home Record 5-4 7-2
Away Record 3-6 6-3
Goals For 216 233
Goals Against 216 190
Power Play Pct. 52.75 47.06
Penalty Kill Pct. 47.31 51.90
Faceoffs Won-Taken 235-506 (46.4%) 281-494 (56.9%)
Loose Balls 1,264 1,393
Points Leader – Series Dickson (24) Church (23)
Points Leader – Season Dickson (107) Matthews (109)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: 2015 REGULAR SEASON
Category Roughnecks (7-11) Rush (13-5)
Home Record 4-5 6-3
Away Record 3-6 7-2
Goals For 212 241
Goals Against 217 177
Power Play Pct. 55.29 46.60
Penalty Kill Pct. 64.36 62.67
Faceoffs Won-Taken 302-495 (61.0%) 253-490 (51.6%)
Loose Balls 1,066 1,186
Points Leader – Series Evans (26) Matthews (24)
Points Leader – Season Evans (130) Matthews (115)
POST-SEASON EXPERIENCE: Calgary has a combined 244games of playoff experience. Jeff Shattler leads all Roughnecks players with 24 post-season games played. Dane Dobbie tops the team in playoff points with 84 (42g, 42a).
PLAYOFF RECORD: Calgary has an all-time post-season record of 16-14. The Roughnecks have competed in eight playoff games against Saskatchewan, posting a 2-3 record when playing at home and 1-2 mark on the road. Calgary is 3-1 all-time in playoff overtime games.
THE EXTRA MILE: Last Saturday’s 11-10 overtime win against Colorado marked the longest playoff game in NLL history at 70:17. The previous mark of 66:18 was set on April 1, 1989, when New York defeated Detroit 9-8 in two five-minute frames of overtime.
ELITE COMPANY: Curtis Dickson finished the regular season with a career-high 61 goals, setting a new franchise single-season goals record. Previous records were held by Dane Dobbie (51, 2014), Lewis Ratcliff (50, 2007) and Tracey Kelusky (45, 2005). Dickson is now the fourth player in NLL history to reach the 60-goal plateau, joining the company of Dhane Smith, who set a new league record with 72 markers this season, Athan Iannucci (71, 2008) and Gary Gait (61, 2003).
COMMUNITY SUPPORT: On Apr. 28, the Calgary Roughnecks proudly announced the Star Wars-themed jersey auction, held from April 6-25 at ElevateAuctions.com, raised a site-best $24,900. The auction dollars combined with private donations saw a total of $25,200 directed to STARS Air Ambulance. The limited edition jersey, featuring Darth Vader, the Death Star, TIE fighters and the Imperial Star Destroyer, made its one and only appearance of the 2016 NLL season on Apr. 9 when the Roughnecks hosted the Vancouver Stealth in the first-ever Star Wars Night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
COLLEGIATE HONOURS: Last month, Roughnecks rookie Wesley Berg was honoured by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame as the Male Collegiate Athlete of the Year. Berg spent his collegiate career with Denver University’s men’s lacrosse team, helping the Pioneers capture the NCAA championship in 2015. With DU from 2012-15, Berg became the Pioneers’ all-time leader in points (255) and goals (188). Calgary selected Berg, who was named the NLL Rookie of the Month for March, fourth overall in the 2015 NLL Draft.
CAREER YEAR: Jeff Shattler recorded four assists on Apr. 2 against Saskatchewan to become the franchise’s new all-time assists leader at 355. He eclipsed the previous mark of 354 set by Kaleb Toth who suited up for the Roughnecks from 2002-12. In Week 16, Shattler surpassed 600 career NLL points with an eight-point game against Vancouver. He also eclipsed 1,000 career loose balls, becoming the 23rd player in league history to achieve this feat. Shattler, now in his 10th season with Calgary, has 366 career assists, 614 career points and 1,014 career loose balls.
NAIL-BITERS: Nine of Calgary’s 18 regular season games were decided by one goal with the Roughnecks winning three and losing six one-goal decisions. Calgary was 1-2 in two-goal games and 3-0 in four-goal contests. In games decided by five or more goals, the Roughnecks were 1-2.