The Calgary Roughnecks know the task at hand.
After suffering a 10-8 road setback to the Edmonton Rush last Friday, the Riggers now need to win Game 2 of the NLL West Division Final at home at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) as well as a 10-minute mini-game to advance to the Champion’s Cup Final for the second straight season.
“We went through a couple one-and-dones and we are fortunate to have another opportunity to extend this to a mini-game,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawsky. “We’re just fortunate enough to keep battling. We love our fans in Calgary. Maybe on the loose balls they will give us a little more adrenaline. On and off the floor it helps us. Anything we can feed off of them is great. Our guys are excited to get going, but we have to be a lot better.”
Forward Curtis Dickson, who leads all players with six goals in the NLL post-season so far, said the Riggers have to concentrate on not letting the Rush jump out to an early lead like they did in Game 1.
“You can’t get down early like that to a team like that,” said Dickson, who has also chipped in with three assists in two playoff games for the ’Necks. “We gave them too many early. We spotted them too many at the start and got ourselves into a hole. We were able to battle back and get it tied up, but they persevered. That’s why it’s a series.”
Defenceman Garrett McIntosh said the Riggers have come a long ways since starting the 2015 campaign with six straight setbacks.
“It’s definitely been a roller coaster of a year – a lot of emotions especially at the beginning of the year, but now we’ve actually settled into our position and settled into who we are as a team for this year,” said McIntosh, who had a goal and an assist in 10 games during the regular season but hasn’t found his way into Calgary’s lineup in the post-season yet. “We’re going with the flow and we’re playing our hearts out every single game. It seems to be working right now, so it’s good.”
Regardless of what happens, at least one member of the McIntosh family will advance with his team to the Champion’s Cup Final against either the Toronto Rock or three-time defending champion Rochester Knighthawks. Garrett’s younger brother Ben is a rookie forward for the Rush, who had a goal and an assist in Edmonton’s Game 1 victory.
“To tell you the truth, we usually talk about personal business more than we talk about lacrosse,” said the elder McIntosh brother in regards to conversations between the two between games. “He doesn’t really tell me that much and I don’t tell him much, which is probably a good thing. I ask him how he’s feeling, but he says he’s completely fine and ready to go. He won’t tell me what’s sore even though I try and get a little bit of info out of him.”
Growing up in Coquitlam, B.C., the two brothers used to play on the same teams together making it easy for their parents Jim and Denise McIntosh. They both even went on to play lacrosse at Drexel University before suiting up against each other in the Battle of Alberta.
“It might be a little tough for my mom, but I think my dad likes it,” said Garrett, who battled against his little brother three times in the regular season. “We’ve always played on the same team together. It’s a little bit of a change of pace. Now I actually have to go after him and hit him and hurt him a little bit. It’s that one battle that you wish you’ve always been able to have against each other on an even playing ground, so we finally get that chance which is nice.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Garrett and Ben’s grandfather, Gary McIntosh, is a member of the Canada Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the builder category. He served as president of British Columbia Lacrosse Association, manager of intermediate teams in the Coquitlam area, and was named Mr. Lacrosse in B.C. in 1994. “He was a huge influence on us growing up,” said Garrett of his grandfather, who passed away several years ago. “When the national anthem’s going on I put my head down and tell him to help me out a bit in the game, give me some lacrosse sense.”
“We’re warriors,” said Malawsky following Calgary’s 10-8 setback in Edmonton last Friday. “We’re competitors. We’ve had a good ride here. It’s tough to keep things rolling all along. Tonight they were the better team and they got the result. We’re not going to hang our heads. We’re not going to go looking for excuses. We’ve always manned up. When we were 0-6, we manned up. When we were 2-8, we manned up. We manned up when we had to go to Vancouver and win. We manned up in Colorado. We’re going to man up after this one and go out and compete.”
“That’s a close game between two really good lacrosse teams that were battling hard,” said Roughnecks captain Andrew McBride in regards to Calgary’s Game 1 loss to Edmonton. “Understanding the adjustments, we’re going to be ready to go and that’s why it’s a series. That’s why it’s a two-game and a mini-game, so we’ve got to keep our heads up, be prepared and be ready to go.”
PLAYER PROFILE – #6 Garrett McIntosh
Height & weight: 6-3, 220
Birthdate: June 17, 1990
Hometown: Coquitlam, B.C.
Fast fact: Won a Minto Cup with the Coquitlam Adanacs back in 2010 with Malawsky as his head coach. “It was a hometown win,” McIntosh said. “It was a big one. It meant a lot, that’s for sure.”
Stat attack: Scored three goals and added six assists while scooping up 33 loose balls in 18 games during his rookie season with the Roughnecks in 2014. “My rookie year was very exciting. It was amazing. I played every single game. We went all the way to the finals. It was a huge breakout year.”
Occupation: Sales executive for Shred-It
Family ties: Younger brother Ben is a forward for the Edmonton Rush.
Notable quotable: “Every week I prepare myself like I’m going to play the game,” Garrett said. “You never know what’s going to happen. Somebody could hurt themselves throughout the week training. Some person could get hurt in practice. It all depends. Some guys could be sick. We try to keep an open communication between all the guys. Everybody’s always fighting for a spot, so it’s definitely a grind. You can’t take a week off especially when you’re in and out of the lineup.”