CALGARY ROUGHNECKS (6-9) vs. BUFFALO BANDITS (5-8)
WHEN: Saturday, April 8 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Scotiabank Saddledome
SERIES: First game against Buffalo in 2017
LAST MEETING: Buffalo won, 10-9, in Buffalo on Jan. 9
The Roughnecks are trending upwards at just the right time.
With wins against the New England Black Wolves and Rochester Knighhawks in consecutive weekends, Calgary is looking to extend the winning streak against Eastern opponents this Saturday.
Looking to put a stop to the Roughnecks winning ways is the Buffalo Bandits, who are coming off of a 17-14 loss to the Saskatchewan Rush. It was Buffalo’s second straight loss, dropping them 1.5 games back of a playoff spot.
With both squads on the outside looking in, expect a spirited affair with both clubs fighting for their playoff lives.
Dobbie on Saturday’s game: “We’re playing desperation lacrosse. It’s a must-win game.”
Bob McMahon on Dobbie presenting Dickson with his 300th goal ball: “(He) grabbed it for him and gave it to him in the dressing room, which was great. He doesn’t miss out on too many of those things. He’s really good at team stuff and recognizing other people.”
Garrett McIntosh on Saturday’s game: “We have to just stay with the process that we’ve put in place the last couple of games here. It takes hard work, heart, and having a lot of trust in each other is a big part of it.”
Garrett McIntosh on the playoff push: “It’s tough because there’s a lot of pressure, but we’re just thinking about the game in front of us. We’re not really worried about Vancouver and we won’t think about them until we face them next weekend. It’s just making sure we win the game that’s in front of us, playing that game. Playing shift by shift, every five minutes, take it in small segments to make it more manageable.”
Curtis Dickson, 42g, 44a
Dhane Smith, 23g, 39a
Frank Scigliano, .757 SV%, 12.54 GAA
Anthony Cosmo, .773 SV%, 13.24 GAA
KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH:
CGY – Dane Dobbie
With 20 points (9g, 11a) in his last three outings, Dane Dobbie is as hot as any forward can get right now. Extremely dangerous on the powerplay, six of his last nine goals have come with the man advantage. And with Buffalo holding the league’s worst penalty kill, Dobbie will be licking his chops hoping to get a crack at their PK unit. Last time these two teams played, Dobbie was exceptional, scoring a pair of goals and assisting on five others.
BUF – Ryan Benesch
After missing some time in February and March, Benesch returned with a bang on March 25 against the Rochester Knighthawks, netting four goals in the contest. He followed up that performance with five points (2g, 3a) in last week’s affair with the Saskatchewan Rush. A healthy Benesch is a dangerous weapon for the Bandits and the Roughnecks know that first hand. In their last meeting, Benesch registered two goals and an assist, while scooping 12 loose balls in a winning effort.
Calgary sent a second round selection (15th overall) to the Buffalo Bandits in the 2013 NLL Draft, where they selected Mitch Wilde. Fast forward four years and the Bandits sent Wilde to the Roughnecks for a second round draft pick.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
The Riggers did a good job holding the Knighthawks offence to just nine goals last weekend, but now they face the leagues top offence in terms of goals per game and it won’t be an easy task to slow them down. Led by powerhouse Dhane Smith, the Bandits offence averages 12.85 goals per game. Smith is complemented by stars Benesch and Mark Steenhuis, as well as youngsters Mitch Jones and Pat Saunders. This will be a major challenge for Frank Scigliano and the Roughnecks defence.
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