CALGARY, AB — The last time the Vancouver Stealth and Calgary Roughnecks were on the turf together, the Roughnecks abruptly ended the Stealth’s season.
Since that game, the two teams have changed a lot.
Vancouver added right-handed sniper Garrett Billings, defenceman Ian Hawksbee, and former Roughnecks defenceman Jeff Moleski and transition player Travis Cornwall.
They also brought in defenceman Brier Jonathan and forward Jordan Durston through the NLL Draft.
On the Roughnecks’ side, they added former Stealth star Tyler Digby along with rookies Wesley Berg, Reilly O’Connor, Tyson Bell, Mitch de Snoo.
Although the rosters may seem dramatically different, the core pieces are still there for both teams, for the most part.
Logan Schuss, Rhys Duch, and Corey Small still remain on offence. Curtis Dickson, Dane Dobbie, and Jeff Shattler are ever dangerous for the Riggers.
Sunday’s game will showcase the new talent on each team and provide an insight into the divisional rivalry in 2016.
So far in the pre-season, the Stealth and Roughnecks have identical 1-1 records.
Vancouver lost their pre-season opener 14-12 to the Rush. They seemed to be heading to lose number two when they were down 8-3 going into the fourth quarter against the Colorado Mammoth in week two of training camp. They made a ridiculous comeback, highlighted by Justin Salts go-ahead goal to win 9-8.
The Roughnecks opened up against the Mammoth and finished them off swiftly, with a 16-11 win. In week two in Toronto, the Riggers fell just short, losing 12-11 to the Buffalo Bandits.
Two of the new additions for the Roughnecks, Digby and Berg, were both key members of Calgary’s offence in the first two games and should be heavily involved once again this week. In two contests, Berg compiled four goals and five assists, while Digby netter two goals and five assists.
While this match-up won’t count on their records, it will be a battle, and the first of four more throughout the season.