CALGARY, AB – The Calgary Roughnecks did not begin their season the way they had planned.
The Riggers fell 18-14 at the hands of the Vancouver Stealth — a team they went 4-0 against last season — on home turf Saturday in an effort that Calgary coach Curt Malawsky was less than pleased with.
“We got what we deserved, it’s as simple as that,” remarked Malawsky. “It’s a good reality check and it’s a smack in the face. It doesn’t get any easier. Now we’ve got to go into Denver in a week, on the road in a loud barn. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”
Calgary’s offence was fuelled by a trio of hat tricks against the Stealth. Jeff Shattler, Curtis Dickson and Dane Dobbie all had three-goal nights in a losing cause.
“We have some big game players, big game competitors and they want to take the game over,” Malawsky continued. “Tonight, I think they would tell you that they played a little bit from an individual side of it. I’m not referring to that as a selfish, I think they’re just trying to make things happen.”
The Colorado Mammoth started their season off with a bang in a lopsided 20-13 victory over the Minnesota Swarm on Saturday. John Grant Jr. led the Colorado attack with a 9 point effort (4g, 5a) as the Mammoth offence was firing on all cylinders and proved to be too much for the Swarm.
Adam Jones (5g, 2a), Sean Pollock (3g, 3a), Athan Iannucci (2,g, 4a), and Drew Westervelt (3g, 3a) all contributed offensively for the Mammoth.
“They’re a team coming off of a big win, they’re incredibly talented, very well coached, excellent goaltending. “ noted Geoff Snider. “We’re going to have our hands full.”
The Pepsi Center and the home of the Colorado Mammoth is known as the ‘loudest house in lacrosse’ and Mammoth captain John Grant Jr. hopes to take advantage of that home-field advantage.
“We just have to make the Pepsi Center a tough place to play like it used to be, that’s one of our goals.” said Grant Jr. “I know, as a veteran guy, I can help show some of these new guys what that means to take a building back and that’s an important thing.”
“After they had a defeat, they’re going to be chomping at the bit to take a game from us.” Grant Jr. added. “So, we’re going to have our hands full and more this weekend”
The Roughnecks will need to put in a solid effort at both ends of the floor if they want to stop Colorado and their high powered offence on Saturday.
“We’re going to have to clean up our backyard from a defensive side all the way out to the offense,” Malawsky said. “We talked about it since the beginning of the season, we need to eliminate the garbage.”
Last season, the Mammoth and Roughnecks faced off against each other three times in the regular season, with Calgary losing two of the three match-ups. However, Calgary out-dueled the Mammoth in the one-game divisional semi-final to eliminate Colorado in dramatic fashion, en route to the Champion’s Cup Final against the Rochester Knighthawks.
“That was then, this is now.” stated Mammoth coach Chris Gill.