CALGARY, AB — The Calgary Roughnecks playoff streak is in peril.
Calgary has made an appearance in the playoffs in each of the last 12 seasons. With today’s deciding game, increasing the streak to 13 is no guarantee.
The team is not concerned with streaks; they just want to win now.
“We’re just going to go play in the moment,” said Roughnecks coach Curt Malawsky. “Nothing to do with protecting streaks, or anything like that. We appreciate the past history, we hold it dear to our heart, a great organization past and present. We’re going to play for the front of the jersey this weekend.”
The Roughnecks and Vancouver Stealth know that a post-season trip to Denver is on the line tonight. That could be a distraction for both teams as they start to think too far ahead. However, the team’s focus for tonight’s game is on the Stealth and advancing.
“We’re thinking about moving on to Denver,” Malawsky said. “That’s what we’re competing for.”
While it won’t keep the streak alive, the feeling amongst the team for tonight is a playoff-type mentality. Given the Riggers’ poor start to the campaign, they’re excited for the opportunity to make the playoffs and aren’t ready for the season to be over yet.
“The guys should have it in the back of their minds that if we don’t win tomorrow, we’re going home,” said Roughnecks forward Shawn Evans. “I don’t think we are ready for that. Having two weeks off, we are ready to continue to play for a little. We are excited for tomorrow. We hold our destiny in our hands.”
The Roughnecks missed the playoffs in the franchise’s first season (2002), but they have made a post-season appearance every year since. Captain Andrew McBride is the longest tenured Roughneck with 23 playoff matches to his credit throughout his 13-year career. He would like to add a few more games to that this season.
“I’ve never missed the playoffs and I don’t plan on missing the playoffs,” McBride said.