CALGARY — The Force was strong in 2016 as the Calgary Roughnecks raised over $25,000 to benefit STARS Air Ambulance and they earned a big win on the turf.

This season, the Roughnecks are once again bringing Star Wars to the Scotiabank Saddledome. As part of the game this Saturday when they host the Colorado Mammoth, the team will be wearing limited edition Star Wars themed jerseys that will be auctioned off after the contest.

“They’re pretty sweet. I like them,” admitted defenceman Scott Carnegie. “Having Luke Skywalker on them is better than last year, having Darth Vader. I think the guys will really like them.”

On Saturday, many first responders (police, firefighters, 911 dispatchers, etc.) from the Calgary area will be in the stands to cheer on the Roughnecks.

Carnegie is, in fact, part of that group. He works as a firefighter in Calgary and is very excited that the team and organization are able to support such a good cause.

“It’s great whenever we can do stuff like this and raise money,” Carnegie said. “STARS is an awesome organization that saves lives, when it comes down to it. We raised $25,000 last year, so we’re going to push for more than that this year. It’s special to me as a first responder, so it’s pretty cool.”

With a number of his colleagues in the stands last season, Carnegie made sure to give them a good show. The veteran defender scored his first and only goal of the season and added a couple assists to help the Roughnecks in a 16-12 win over the Vancouver Stealth.

He’s hoping to use The Force once again and find the back of the cage this time around.

“I usually only get one or two goals a year, so it’d be nice to get another one on Saturday with the Star Wars jersey on,” laughed Carnegie.

Forward Tyler Digby likes Star Wars, but admits that his mother is an even bigger fan. He knows she’ll be excited to see the special team silks.

“It’s always cool to put on a new jersey,” said Digby. “I think it’s great to be able to put on the Star Wars jersey, there’s a lot of fans worldwide. It’s definitely special for me.

“The biggest part it being able to raise the money for STARS Air Ambulance. It’s the biggest thing.

“I think with the firefighters coming in and presenting the fire helmet to us this year and with Scott [Carnegie] being a firefighter, you get to see how tight knit they are and how much they care about the community. Any way that we can help them do their job and help the community out is something we want to do.”

Last weekend saw Calgary go into the Loud House in Denver and disappoint the home fans, winning 14-12. Digby scored five goals in the contest.

“I think we definitely have to come out much like we did in Denver,” noted Digby. “We need to come out focused and get going right away. If we don’t come out prepared after last week, they’re a very good team and they will pounce on us early. I think we need to be willing to out-work them again.”

Carnegie agrees that the Riggers need to keep playing their game.

“They’re a great team,” Carnegie said. “We’ve got to stick to a similar game plan to last weekend. Get off to a good start, get the fans behind us early. We talk about process, one shift at a time, so that’s going to be really important again this weekend.

“I think you’ll see another close game, they always are when we play divisional rivals. Just have to do our thing.”

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