RIGGER RAMBLINGS: For the Calgary Roughnecks to capture their third National Lacrosse League championship title, they will have to go through the Buffalo Bandits. The Bandits host Game 1 of the best-of-three NLL final series tonight at the KeyBank Center. The series will then shift to the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday, May 25 for Game 2. If necessary, Game 3 will be back at the KeyBank Center on Friday, May 31. The Roughnecks punched their ticket to the NLL finals for the first time since 2014 following an 8-4 victory over the Colorado Mammoth last Friday at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Christian Del Bianco held the Mammoth goalless for 32.54 in a contest that tied the lowest scoring playoff game in NLL history. The Calgary goaltender made 47 saves to record his third career playoff win while Colorado’s Dillon Ward stopped 46 of the 54 shots he faced. Three Roughnecks tallied a pair of goals in the home victory including Jesse King (2g, 1a), Dane Dobbie (2g, 4a) and Curtis Dickson (2g, 2a). Tyler Pace (1g, 1a) and Reece Callies (1g) rounded out the scoring for Calgary, both with their first post-season goal. Eli McLaughlin (1g, 2a) led the Mammoth with three points while Ryan Lee was their top scorer with two goals.  

ROUGHNECKS PLAYOFF TICKETS: Tickets are on sale now starting at $25 in the Student Zone, $29.52 for kids, $46.06 for adults and $32.99 for Rough House Reserved. Also available is the Family Pack for $115, which includes four tickets and a $20 food and beverage gift card. All prices are plus applicable taxes and fees and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.ca, CalgaryROughnecks.com or at the Scotiabank Saddledome Box Office.

2019 NLL FINALS SCHEDULE:

Game 1 Saturday, May 18 5:30 p.m. MT KeyBank Center
Game 2 Saturday, May 25 7:00 p.m. MT Scotiabank Saddledome
*Game 3 Friday, May 31 6:00 p.m. MT KeyBank Center

*If necessary

VS. BUFFALO: Tonight marks the third time the Roughnecks and Bandits have met in the playoffs and the second time in the NLL Finals. The last post-season match-up against the two clubs was in the NLL championship game on May 7, 2004 in front of a sold out crowd at the Scotiabank Saddledome when Calgary took home the Champion’s Cup after a 14-11 victory. Buffalo last won the Cup in 2008 when they defeated the Portland LumberJax 14-13. The Bandits finished the 2018-19 regular season with a 14-4 record and are 5-0 when playing opponents from the West Division. Top-seeded Buffalo is coming off last Saturday’s 12-8 victory over third-seed Toronto Rock.

2018-19 Regular Season Series Recap

Feb. 16/19 at BUF: BUF 12 CGY 10… Bandits netted six goals in the second half to come back from an 8-6 deficit heading in to the halftime break.

Shots on Goal: CGY 50   BUF 55   

Power Plays: CGY 2-4 (50.0%)   BUF 1-3 (33.3%)                             

All-Time Regular Season Records

All-Time vs. BUF: 6-8

All-Time at CGY: 5-4

All-Time at BUF: 1-4

Last CGY Win: Apr. 14/18, 16-9 at the Scotiabank Saddledome

Last BUF Win: Feb. 16/19, 12-10 at KeyBank Center

HEAD-TO-HEAD: 2018-19 REGULAR SEASON

Category Roughnecks (10-8) Buffalo (14-4)
Home Record 5-4 7-2
Away Record 5-4    7-2
Goals For 212 244
Goals Against 201 186
Power Play Pct. 48.86 48.94
Penalty Kill Pct. 60.76 61.33
Faceoffs Pct. 50.4 (246-488) 43.9 (221-503)
Loose Balls 1272 1342
Points Leader – Season

Points Leader – Series

Dane Dobbie (115)

Dane Dobbie (6)

Dhane Smith (102)

Smith, Durston, Small (4)

HEAD-TO-HEAD: 2017-18 REGULAR SEASON

Category Calgary (8-10) Buffalo (8-10)
Home Record 5-4 4-5
Away Record 3-6 4-5
Goals For 227 232
Goals Against 211 240
Power Play Pct. 46.5 54.1
Penalty Kill Pct. 53.2 51.7
Faceoff Pct. 56.8 45.5
Loose Balls 1349 1416
Points Leader – Season

Points Leader – Series

Curtis Dickson (92)

Berg, Dickson, Dobbie (10)

Dhane Smith (105)

Dhane Smith (9)

POST-SEASON EXPERIENCE: Since their establishment, the Riggers have advanced to the post-season 16 out of 18 seasons and have an all-time post-season record of 19-17. Calgary has a combined 249 games of playoff experience.  Mike Carnegie and Dane Dobbie lead all Roughnecks players with 27 post-season games played.  Dane Dobbie also tops the team in playoff points with 125 (58g, 67a).

FIVE ALIVE: The Roughnecks won their first Champion’s Cup (now called the NLL Cup) on May 7, 2004 when they beat the Buffalo Bandits 14-11 in the NLL championship game at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Five years later on May 15, 2009, the ‘Necks downed the New York Titans 12-10 at the ‘Dome and hoisted the Champion’s Cup for the second time. Then in 2014, five years later, the Roughnecks had an opportunity to capture the league title against the Rochester Knighthawks. After splitting the two-game series, the Roughnecks fell short and dropped 3-2 in the mini-game tiebreaker.  Now five years following their most recent run for the cup, Calgary has a chance to capture their third NLL Cup in franchise history.

SPECIAL TEAMS WATCH: Calgary’s power play ranks fourth in the league at 48.86% while the Bandits power play is third in the NLL at 48.94%. When playing shorthanded, Buffalo holds a slight advantage over Calgary with 61.33% (first overall).  The Roughnecks’ penalty kill sits second at 60.76%.  Two Calgary snipers sit in the league’s top-10 in power play goals: Dane Dobbie sits second in the NLL with 12 while Rhys Duch is tied for third with 11. Corey Small leads the league with 14 man-advantage markers while Shawn Evans is tied for fifth with 10.

PLAYOFF MILESTONES: On May 10, several Roughnecks hit a variety of playoff milestones: Curtis Dickson tallied four points in Friday’s victory over the Mammoth to surpass 100 career playoff points. Tyler Pace and rookie Reece Callies scored their first playoff goals while Pace added his first playoff assist to end the night with two points. Tyler Burton surpassed 100 playoff face-off wins with 11-16 battles won on Friday night. On Monday, May 6, rookies Shane Simpson and Reece Callies recorded their first NLL playoff points with an assist each.

TOP OF THE CHARTS – REGULAR SEASON: Dane Dobbie led the NLL with 115 regular season points including 47 goals and 68 assists (both ranked second). He also had a league-leading 216 shots on goal and 292 shots… Eli Salama topped all rookies with two shorthanded assists… Christian Del Bianco played more minutes than any other goaltender in the NLL with 1074.44. He had a league-leading 716 saves.

CAREER YEARS: Eleven Roughnecks players have recorded career highs in several categories this season: Tyler Burton (101 LB, 245 FO), Chad Cummings (26 PIM, 74 LB), Zach Currier (16 A, 1 SHG, 1 GWG, 34 CTO), Christian Del Bianco (1 PPA, 2 SHA, 1074.44 MIN, 10W, 716 SV), Dane Dobbie (68 A, 115 PTS, 18 PPA, 216 SOG), Anthony Kalinich (2 PTS including 1 G and 1 A, 38 LB, 10 CTO, 3 SOG), Riley Loewen (20 G including 6 PPG, 6 PPA), Dan MacRae (25 CTO), Ryan Martel (16 PTS including 5 G and 11 A, 2 PIM, 20 LB, 27 SOG), Tyler Pace (17 G including 4 PPG, 1 SHG and 1 GWG, 25 A, 42 PTS, 2 PPA, 39 LB, 3 CTO, 60 SOG), Dan Taylor (23 G including 1 PPG, 23 A including 8 PPA and 1 SHA, 46 PTS, 26 LB, 4 CTO, 69 SOG) and Mitch Wilde (3 PPA, 1 GWG, 75 LB).

IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Christian Del Bianco’s 716 saves sets a new single season franchise record, surpassing Matt King’s record of 603 set in 2002… Zach Currier beat his own record of 33 caused turnovers in a single season set in 2018 with 34 in 2019… Dane Dobbie now holds the franchise record for most career assists with 418 inching passed Jeff Shattler’s previous record of 416… Dan MacRae is now tied with Mike Carnegie for most caused turnovers with 163 each.

POST-SEASON VS.: (COL 1-0), (SD 1-0)

REGULAR SEASON VS.: (BUF 0-1), (COL 1-2), (GA 1-0), (NE 0-1), (PHI 1-0), (ROC 1-0), (SD 1-2), (SAS 2-1), (TOR 1-0), (VAN 2-1)

POST-SEASON RECORD WHEN:

Leading at halftime ……                                    1-0                                      Outshooting opponent .…… 1-0

Trailing at halftime …….                                    0-0                                      Outshot by opponent …..…..           1-0

Tied at halftime …….….                                    1-0                                      Shots are tied ……..…………            0-0

REGULAR SEASON RECORD WHEN:

Leading at halftime ……                                    4-2                                      Outshooting opponent .…… 5-2

Trailing at halftime …….                                    3-5                                      Outshot by opponent …..…..           5-6

Tied at halftime …….….                                    3-1                                      Shots are tied ……..…………            0-0

REGULAR SEASON VS. DIVISION: West (6-6), East (4-2).