CALGARY ROUGHNECKS (5-9) vs. ROCHESTER KNIGHTHAWKS (5-8)
WHEN: Saturday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m. MT
WHERE: Blue Cross Arena (Rochester, NY)
SERIES: This is the first meeting this season
LAST MEETING: Rochester won, 9-8 (OT), in Calgary on March 5, 2016
Coming off of an important 18-13 win over an Eastern opponent last weekend, the Roughnecks are looking to duplicate that result on the road.
Rochester is also on the heels of a big win, defeating the Buffalo Bandits 11-10 at home. Down 8-5 at the half, the Knighthawks utilized a six-goal fourth quarter to complete the comeback over their divisional rival.
Despite the wins, both teams reside in the basement of their respective division and a win in Saturday’s match-up would be massive in either teams quest to earn a spot in the NLL playoffs.
Mike Board on the recently acquired Creighton Reid: “Creighton is a smart, veteran player in the league and will bolster the left side of our defence and our transition game. He has good size, speed and strength, and will be a welcome part of our push towards the playoffs. He is a player we had asked about on several occasions and this time there was a fit. We are excited to have him in our line-up this weekend when we travel to Rochester.”
Wesley Berg on a much needed win: “We had to win this game. We’ve got to win every game from here on in if we want to get a good spot in the playoffs and get things going and have a chance of winning this championship. We’ve been on quite a skid, so we needed that. It’s good for morale and it’s good for everybody in the organization.”
Curt Malawsky on Greg Harnett, who rolled his ankle last game: “I think you’d have to shoot Greg Harnett for him not to play. He’s a warrior.”
Mike Board on acquiring lefties: “It’s hard to find left-handed offensive guys and left-handed defensive guys in the league. Once you get them, people tend to hang onto them. When you get one, you want to lock them up for awhile.”
Curtis Dickson, 39g, 43a
Kyle Jackson, 22g, 29a
Frank Scigliano, .753 SV%, 12.89 GAA
Matt Vinc, .788 SV%, 10.86 GAA
KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH:
CGY – Creighton Reid
On an otherwise slow Trade Deadline, Creighton Reid was traded twice — first from Colorado to Buffalo and then from Buffalo to Calgary. The big lefty defender will make his Roughnecks debut against the Knighthawks. Known for being aggressive and having the skills to bury in transition, keep an eye on the newest Rigger as Calgary has been looking to run the floor over the past few weeks.
ROC – Dan Dawson
There’s a reason they call him ‘Dangerous’ Dan Dawson. The tall right-hander has long been an offensive force in the NLL and he continues to pester defences in 2017. After missing some games at the start of the season, he has rebounded with 39 points in 11 games for the ‘Hawks. In his most recent game against the Roughnecks (March 5, 2016), Dawson netted four assists and two goals, including the overtime winner.
Rochester goalie Matt Vinc was the goalie of record for the Orlando Titans when the Roughnecks defeated them for the 2009 Champion’s Cup.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
The key for the Roughnecks in this game is finding a way to keep the Rochester offence at bay. With a strong defence and goalie, goals may be hard to come by for the Riggers, so shutting down the league’s worst offence will be very important. The Knighthawks are led by rookie Kyle Jackson, former Roughneck Joe Resetarits, and Dawson. Mix in the veteran Cory Vitarelli and Dan Lomas and there is plenty of skill on the offensive side of the ball. The Roughnecks have allowed the most-goals in the NLL, but will need a big game here with their playoff lives hanging in the balance.
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