One game at a time.
That’s the motto that Jeff Shattler believes the Calgary Roughnecks (0-6) need to adopt heading into their home game against the Vancouver Stealth (3-3) this Saturday (7 p.m.) at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“Game by game, that’s all we can do,” said Shattler, who has scored 11 goals and added seven assists in six games so far this season. “We’ve had opportunities to win games. Either things didn’t go our way or breaks went the other team’s way. I know we have an incredible team. I still believe in what we’ve got and I know everybody else is on the same page. We just need to battle through it and take it one game at a time.”
Playing in front of their hometown fans, the Riggers will be looking to avenge a 13-9 road setback they suffered to the Stealth last Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
“We need this win against Vancouver at home for us and for our fans,” said Shattler, who’s in his ninth season with the ’Necks. “That would be huge. A lot of guys will have family and friends there and fans that have supported us over the years. We really appreciate all the support we get. We have a big fan base. We just want to get a big W so it gives all the fans in Calgary something to cheer about.”
Count Shattler in the group of people who didn’t think the Riggers would start the season with six straight losses just months removed from coming within one win of capturing the 2014 Champion’s Cup.
“I think our team really hasn’t shown what we’re capable of doing,” Shattler said. “We have so much more to give. We’re just coming off being in the championship and then having a really bad start. We still have time. There’s still 12 games left. We really need to have some urgency as a team and really do whatever it takes to get a win. I have a feeling that our breaks will start coming our way this weekend.”
And Shattler definitely is motivated to improve upon his performance last Saturday when he finished with one goal against the Stealth.
“I’ve got to be a lot better,” he said. “I know myself, I really need to step up as a veteran. Me and (captain Andrew McBride) being two of the oldest guys on the team, we need to show some leadership out there and try to get our young guys with their wheels going. We’re going to have to give everything we’ve got. We can’t have those passengers this weekend. We need everybody on board.”
“The guys are still battling,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky. “We just have to continue to try to earn our breaks and make our breaks. We’re going to have to continue to get better and better and we’re going to continue to support each other. We’re going to continue to stick together and we’re going to continue to fight and battle and do whatever we need to do to get over the hump. We’re going to continue to prepare like we normally do and we expect a tough game Saturday night and we’ll be ready.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Heading into Saturday’s game, the Roughnecks are tied for second in the league with 17 power-play goals with both the Rochester Knighthawks and the Toronto Rock. The Stealth lead the league with 19 power-play goals on 41 man-up situations, which also leads the NLL. In terms of power-play proficiency, Rochester leads the league at 58.62 per cent, followed closely by Toronto (54.84) and Calgary (50).
PLAYER PROFILE – #77 Jeff Shattler
Height & weight: 6-0, 185
Birthdate: Dec. 26, 1984
Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
Fast fact: Grew up wearing No. 11 while playing lacrosse and No. 7 in hockey. Started his NLL career with the Buffalo Bandits where John Tavares was already wearing No. 11, so he decided to double up his hockey number and he’s still wearing No. 77 to this day.
Stat attack: Earlier this season, Shattler moved past former Roughneck Lewis Ratcliff into third all-time in points during the regular season. In 135 games with the Riggers, Shattler has racked up 201 goals and 281 assists for 482 points. He trails only Kaleb Toth (628 points) and Tracey Kelusky (539) on the all-time list.
Occupation: Works for Ellis Don Construction
Family ties: Engaged to Lindsay Bushe
Notable quotable: “Give everything you’ve got,” said Shattler in regards to the best advice he’s ever received. “My mom always used to say, ‘You can rest tomorrow’.”