The playoff-like intensity is in full swing.
With three regular-season games remaining, the Roughnecks are primed to make a push to earn a post-season spot, playing right now with a sense of desperation.
Currently on the outside looking in with a 6-9 record, the next two games against the Buffalo Bandits and Vancouver Stealth will decide the fate of their season.
“We’re in must win games,” forward Dane Dobbie said. “We just need to stick to what we’re doing and keep playing desperation lacrosse.”
The Roughnecks have turned things around, currently riding a two-game winning streak headed into Saturday’s home matchup against the Bandits.
Although they’ll scoreboard watch the Stealth’s game against the Saskatchewan Rush on the same night, every player understands that they can’t expect the Rush to help them out, and that they have to rely on their own play to clinch.
“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,” defender Garret McIntosh said. “It’s just making sure we win the game that’s in front of us. Playing shift by shift, every five minutes, take it in small segments to make it more manageable.”
From a management standpoint, Riggers GM Mike Board has liked what he has seen from his team in the last two games and expects more of the same down the stretch.
“We’ve realized there’s some urgency in our schedule and the team is responding to that,” Board said. “What we do is going to control our destiny.”
There are still areas in their overall game that the GM would like to be cleaned-up to further elevate their game.
Over the course of the season, there have been times that the Roughnecks have been slow starters, which is a major aspect that Board hopes is in the past.
“The guys need to be ready when that first whistle goes. It’s almost a trend in the league right now, if a team gets on a four or five goal run they’re able to protect that lead,” Board said. “It’s critical to get the lead or stay close and get yourself on your runs. Consistency is the key.”
With their current situation, the Roughnecks are ensuring to not overlook this weekend’s game and immediately look ahead to the all-important clash with the Stealth.
With all the ups and downs that the team has had together, Board believes that the struggles they faced are behind them and that it has helped them grow.
“We’ve had a rollercoaster season and let games get away from us. I think we’ve settled down,” Board said.
“It sounds very cliché but it’s one game, one shift at a time.”
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