CALGARY, AB – After a ‘lights-out’ performance by the Calgary Roughnecks in the West Division Semi-Final, they have advanced to the West Division Final against the Edmonton Rush.
Since 2012, the two teams have played 16 regular season games, with Calgary holding a 9-6 advantage over their provincial rivals. In 2015, the two teams clashed four times, splitting the season series two games apiece.
Edmonton only lost five games all season, with two of those losses coming to the Roughnecks. Calgary is the only team to beat the Rush on multiple occasions and that success may help breed confidence for the Roughnecks.
“It’s always nice to beat a team before heading into the playoffs,” said Roughnecks forward Curtis Dickson, who tallied a hat-trick in each of the four contests against Edmonton. “That gives a confidence boost heading into the Western Final, but at the same time, playoffs are a brand new season.”
The Rush finished the 2014 season atop the West Division with a 13-5 record thus earning a bye through the Semi-Finals.
Edmonton also earned home-field advantage, however, due to scheduling conflicts, they have deferred that right to the Roughnecks for the West Final.
The Roughnecks are excited to get back in front of their home crowd at Scotiabank Saddledome.
“So excited,” Dickson exclaimed. “We’ve all seen the Flames games and seen the C of Red. We know how awesome our fans are. It’s big for us to get this win to be able to get back home to play in front of them again.”
In the playoffs, Edmonton and Calgary have only met three times since 2006 when the Rush first entered the league. In single-elimination games in 2010 and 2012, Edmonton beat Calgary by scores of 11-7 and 19-11, respectively.
Last year was a different story.
In the two-game series, the teams split the games, both winning in their own barn. With the series tied, a 10-minute mini-game was played immediately after the second game in Edmonton to determine who would be representing the West in the Champion’s Cup. Calgary narrowly won that game, taking it 2-1.
Remembering that last year’s West Division Final was a tough battle, the Roughnecks will try to keep the same mindset that has gotten them this far and that willed them to victory over the Colorado Mammoth.
“Some guys want to win. Some guys are willing to win,” said Roughnecks coach Curt Malawsky. “Our guys were willing to win. Whether it be getting loose balls, hard on and off the floor, getting to the dirty areas on offence, they were willing to win. That’s what we are going to take away from this.”
Coming into the West Division Final, Calgary is carrying a three-game winning streak, their longest of the season.
They will be looking to stay hot as they face their Albertan rival in this pivotal series.
“We are playing good lacrosse right now,” said Roughnecks forward Dane Dobbie. “They are going to be at their best and we are going to be at ours. It’s going to come down to hard work, smart lacrosse, and who’s willing to go to the dirty areas to make the right play.”