CALGARY, AB – Things are looking up for the Calgary Roughnecks.
On Sunday, the Roughnecks defeated the Edmonton Rush 12-11 in spirited overtime affair. Daryl Veltman played hero scoring the overtime marker with 4:55 remaining in the extra frame.
“I thought we had a pretty good game overall,” said Roughnecks assistant coach Bob McMahon. “I thought our goaltending was good. We got a good effort out of all 16 guys. Everybody contributed in some part to the win and we were pretty happy that we remained composed after Edmonton’s start.
“We stuck with the process and we were fortunate to win in overtime.”
All of the hard work the Roughnecks have put in this season is finally starting to pay dividends with two victories in their last three games.
Even when things became frustrating, the team stuck with their system and is hoping to see more success moving forward.
“The beginning of the year, it seemed like we were having a hard time getting any wins under our belts,” said Roughnecks defender Garrett McIntosh. “It seemed like every one-goal game was going the opposite way. It was frustrating, but we had Curt [Malawsky] and Bob always telling us to stick to the process and that things were going to happen, balls are going to bounce our way and we’re going to get our chances.
“Not so much in the Rochester game there, but definitely in the Vancouver and Edmonton games, we came out flying and kept to the process and we are seeing the results of our hard work.”
The Roughnecks return home to face the Rochester Knighthawks for the second time in three weeks and they will be looking for retribution after a 12-11 loss they suffered in Rochester on Feb. 28.
“It seems like every time we get a win, we get rewarded with Rochester,” joked McMahon. “We know were playing a very good team. We’ve played them quite often over the past couple of years. Two weeks ago it was a very good game. It was a tale of two games, I’m sure Hazen liked the first half, and we liked the second half of the game. I think both teams know that they have to play a complete 60 minutes to win on Saturday night.”
Coming off of a bye-week, the Knighthawks are well rested and still have the Roughnecks fresh in their minds.
So far on the young season, teams are 11-8 when coming off a bye week. The Roughnecks could be in for a challenge against a refreshed Rochester squad.
“We know each other pretty well,” said Knighthawks defenseman Brad Self. “Having played last year in the Championship and now having played a couple weeks ago. We have to be ready for 60 minutes.
“They’ve shown that they are a run and gun and on the attack team, so we have to be prepared for that. Having the week off, it’ll be nice to have a practice night and get sharp. Make sure that we are ready to weather their storm, in their building here on Saturday night.”
Rochester may have come out with a win against Calgary two weeks ago, but they know it won’t be easy coming into Scotiabank Saddledome.
They know they need to be better this week.
“We were very happy with the way we worked in the first half, and the second half – you know Calgary is going to come out and play well and they did,” said Rochester coach Mike Hasen. “We just have to find a way to match it. Hopefully this week will be better. We’re going into a building and they always play well in Calgary, the fans there make the atmosphere great to play in. It’s going to be a tough one.”
This game marks the start of a lengthy home stand for the Roughnecks.
In the next five weeks, Calgary plays six games, five of which are at home. The first weekend of April they play a home-and-home against Colorado.
“We are looking at our schedule and we have four of our next five at home,” McMahon said. “I know the guys love playing in the dome. We’ve got great fans there who really energize us.
“The games in this league are ones of momentum and our fans are very knowledgeable and very vocal and they help us build momentum when we do get on our runs. We’re looking very forward to getting back to the dome and playing in front of our fans.”
In their last outing at the ‘Dome, the Riggers rewarded their fans with their first win of the season. The Roughnecks love playing in Calgary and want to get the fans another win this weekend against Rochester.
“They deserve one, that’s for sure,” McIntosh said. “They bring it every time that we show up at the dome. Everybody is always excited and the energy inside the place just gets you going. From the moment you step into the arena until the moment you’re done, the crowd is amazing. The boys, we all love it, we all get together on our home turf and have a good time.”