By: Riley Pollock – 15-02-23
It was unusually tough for Kieran McKay to have his game-day nap on Saturday.
That’s because Riggers Coach Curt Malawksy had just told him he was making his NLL debut that night – at the Scotiabank Saddledome – against the defending champion Colorado Mammoth.
“Coach pulled me to the side and said he was hoping to put me in tonight,” recalled McKay. “He said it’s going to be my shot and if I wanted to let my family know now would be a good time. I usually like to take a little nap on game days but I was having trouble sleeping. I was pretty excited.”
The 6-foot-4 defender was focused on stepping into the lineup and making an impact.
“They just told me not to be nervous,” he said. “It was all about preparation and I’ve been preparing with the team for the whole pre-season and these first few weeks of the season and they had a lot of encouraging words for me and said I would be fine and they kept supporting me while I was out there so I couldn’t ask for better guys.”
His family was unable to make the trip from out West due to work but they were able to catch his debut on TSN.
“They said they were excited and they were going to go watch the game with my grandparents that night,” McKay said. “It was good that they were able to plan the day around it.”
McKay signed with the Roughnecks after the draft this past offseason. The Richmond, B.C., native played midfield in field lacrosse for five years at McGill and Jr. A, box lacrosse with the Burnaby Lakers before making the jump to pro and wants to bring his ability to get up the turf with speed and his size to the pro game.
“I would say I like to be a transition guy coming up the floor, I like to run,” he said. “But, I know I’ve got a big stature so I like being a little bit dirty and rough on the back end while being able to get up the floor as fast as possible.”
He finished the game with three loose balls, a blocked shot and a shot on goal in transition, but the best part of his first game was probably picking up the 13-9 win.
“It’s definitely nice to start your career off with a win,” said McKay. “It took a lot of work for the whole team over the weekend to get both of these wins and end it on a good note and hopefully we can pick two more up before our bye week in three weeks.”