CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Roughnecks and Colorado Mammoth will meet in a single-elimination game to decide who will face the Edmonton Rush in the West Division Final.
This will be the sixth time since 2006 that the two teams have met in the West Division Semi-Final. Calgary has won each of the last five meetings.
While the Mammoth may have ended the season with a better record, it will certainly be a highly contested game. Since 2012, the two teams have played 11 regular season games, with seven of them going into overtime. Including playoffs, they have gone to overtime in eight of their past 13 games, too.
The Roughnecks experience with one-goal games this season will help them against their Rocky Mountain rivals.
“We were in ten one-goal to two-goal games and that’s something that you can’t duplicate,” said Roughnecks coach Curt Malawsky. “When games are on the line, we’ve won them and we’ve lost them.
It is a one-goal league. When we were 0-6, we kept saying that it was a one-goal league. That’s been the story of our season.”
In saying that, one should expect that the game between these two will be very close.
In those overtime games, Colorado has been dominant in winning six of the past eight.
John Grant Jr. has scored three of the past four game-winners and as been a pain for the Roughnecks all-around. Grant Jr. has been a thorn in the Roughnecks side all season, compiling nine goals and four assists in the three games.
Former Mammoth and current Roughneck Sean Pollock scored two of the overtime winners for Colorado, too. He will be hoping that he can flip the script and send Calgary home happy.
When asked whether or not a one-goal game was too close for comfort, Roughnecks forward Curtis Dickson were both of the opinion that they aren’t ideal, but they’re still a win.
“It is, but if it’s ugly, it doesn’t matter,” Dickson said. “It’s still a win in the win column. Obviously we’d like to have a bigger cushion, but at the end of the day we got the win. These one goal games, being able to pull these wins out, are a huge momentum builder heading into playoffs.”
There was one player, however, who is not fazed by the one-goal games.
Calgary goaltender Frankie Scigliano has the mindset that in games, he simply needs to make the save, regardless of the score. That mentality plays very well in these close, one-goal situations.
“No never,” said Scigliano. “Lacrosse is a game of runs and things like that are going to happen. You need to make that save at the right time and I was happy to make that save. We ended up with the win tonight.
Since 2012, the Mammoth has not won a game against the Roughnecks without having to go into overtime, whereas, Calgary has won four games without the need of an extra frame. In those games, they have won 14-9, 13-11, 19-2, and 21-10.
Clearly, staying away from overtime would be in the best interest of the Roughnecks.