It’s Carlos the Jackal mindset time in Langley, B.C. next weekend.
“You rewind five weeks and we would’ve taken this opportunity, in a heartbeat,’’ reminded Calgary Roughnecks’ coach Curt Malawsky. “Now we have the chance and that’s because the kids have earned it.
“What you put in is what you get out. We’re putting in.
“I think the work ethic has been impeccable.
“We’re excited to go to Vancouver, to win and to get into the playoffs.
“We talk all the time about: Honest effort, honest result. We’ve gotten an honest effort the last three weeks.
“Results have followed.”
The Riggers’ Feast on the East continued Saturday evening, following up morale-building and playoff-enhancing wins over New England and Rochester by suffocating the Buffalo Bandits 13-8 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
With the Vancouver Stealth tumbling in Saskatoon, the Roughnecks find themselves a win up on the west coasters in the for the final divisional post-season slotting.
Vancouver, though, holds a game in hand.
Which sets up a decisive mano-a-mano showdown Saturday.
“Vancouver’s a hard place to play,’’ reckoned Calgary captain Mike Carnegie. “They’re playing well, too. So, yeah, it is THE game.”
“This,’’ sighed Dickson, “is the type of lacrosse we should have been playing all season. I don’t know where this has been all year, but better late than never I guess.
“We’re not at our goal yet. We’ve still got a long ways to go.
“The winner of that game’s most likely getting that last playoff spot.”
As regular Roughneck patrons are aware, whenever a homesteading goaltender produces a save, the PA announcer bellows: “What’s he got?” Triggering the full-throated answer: “Nothing!”
Saturday, the question should’ve been altered slightly to: “What’ve they got?”
And the response from the 10,855 on hand changed to: “Next to nothing!”
For long stretches seemed the ‘Necks bottled up, shut down, angled off and generally slapped the cuffs on the Bandits.
They gave the visitors absolutely nada through the first quarter and were dented slightly for only two snipes in the second, leaving you to wonder if maybe they could flirt with the franchise all-time low for goals allowed in a game, four, way back in 2004 against the Arizona Sting.
“We’re building, and that’s what you want to be doing approaching playoffs,’’ said Carnegie. “I didn’t think we gave them much.
“We’re showing signs of playing our best lacrosse. Hard-fought, scrambling for loose balls and never quitting, which is paying dividends.”
Goaltender Frank Scigliano’s 46 saves and a steely defensive determination deservedly shared the evening’s spotlight with Dickson’s 10-point (4G, 6A) turn.
“We’re playing muscling lacrosse,’’ said Dane Dobbie. “The last three games have been a playoff mentality for us: Win, we’re okay. Lose, we’re done.
“Next weekend’s no different. Everybody’s been playing this game since we were kids. We know the ins and outs. The coaches put the game plan together and we follow it.
“It comes down to how desperate we are as a club. When we play desperate, urgent, as if our lives are on the line, we’re more successful.
“So I know I’m repeating myself but I’ll say it again: Next week’s another playoff game for us and we’ve gotta win it.”
So Saturday, April 15th at the Langley Rec Centre. A Carlos the Jackal mindset is required.
Nothing less will do. And if Malawksy could bottle Saturday night’s of the Bandits and take it with him due west?
“We were good,’’ he adjudged. “A couple breakdowns late … but that’s me just being real, real picky.
“I thought we got great goaltending. I thought we moved the ball well, in transition we got our offence the ball when we needed it. We didn’t get into a track meet against them and I don’t think we did.
“Defensively we were sound and I thought Burts (Tyler Burton) was great on the draw.
“That was pretty darn close to a complete game. Vancouver’s a different animal. There’ll be a lot of desperation on the line, both sides.
“If we could can this game, take it to Vancouver and take our chances, we absolutely would.”