The Calgary Roughnecks finished the pre-season schedule with a perfect 3-0 record following a 15-9 win over the Rochester Knighthawks at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena on Sunday afternoon.
“Some people might say it means nothing, but from a coaching staff perspective, we’ve seen everything we needed to see,” said head coach Curt Malawsky about the 3-0 record. “Was it picture-perfect? No. Were we happy with the results? Absolutely. Were we going out and competing? For sure.”
Calgary jumped out to an early 3-2 lead in the first quarter after goals from Dane Dobbie, Curtis Dickson and Daryl Veltman. Rookie netminder Pete Dubenski started strong, only allowing the pair of Rochester goals before giving way to Frankie Scigliano for the second quarter.
“All the goaltenders did an excellent job,” said captain Andrew McBride. “They all came in and competed.”
The Roughnecks maintained the small advantage in the second quarter, ending the first half up 7-5. Reigning NLL MVP Shawn Evans scored twice, while Veltman scored his second of the afternoon. Matthew Dinsdale rounded out his strong training camp with another marker.
Starting netminder Mike Poulin entered the fray in the second half, and allowed just four goals the rest of the way. Dinsdale (2), Shattler (2), Dickson, Dobbie, Tor Reinholdt and Brett Baron found the back of the net in the second half.
The final game marks the end of the training camp for the Roughnecks, one which Malawsky is very happy with.
“The work ethic was phenomenal right from the start of training camp right through this last game,” Malawsky said. “Everyone competed really hard and they can all be proud of their efforts. That’s all you can ask for from a coaching staff. I haven’t seen a work ethic like this at training camp in the 12 years I’ve been here. Every guy brought it and it’s a special thing to see.”
The coaches and management are forced to decide the 20 man roster, and four player practice squad by 10 a.m. MT. Malawsky described it as a “sad day” for the people making making the decision.
“It’s always tough, how do you fault some of the kids,” Malawsky said. “It just comes down to sheer numbers. You have to make your decisions based on what your team needs are, so it’s not always the best guy that makes it but it’s to fill spots. One thing I can say is that I’m very proud of every player that came out.”