CALGARY, AB — Times are tough in Calgary.
The Calgary Roughnecks limped back into town after a disappointing 12-11 loss to the Toronto Rock on Saturday. The setback has dropped the Roughnecks to 0-4, their worst start in franchise history.
“I don’t know if there’s a lot of frustration,” Curt Malawsky said. “I think we are still making those few mistakes. Loose balls, not getting off the floor, missed assignments in defensive zone, and those are ending up in the back of our net.
“That’s hurting us. I always say, in a one-goal league, that’s the difference between winning and losing.”
Goaltender Frankie Scigliano had a strong showing in the loss, his fourth career start. He made 40 saves on 52 shots.
Scigliano’s performance has added some stability to the net. The Roughnecks goaltending has been inconsistent in prior games, allowing 51 goals through their first three outings — an average of 17.
“I thought Frankie played very well,” Malawsky said. “Not many people know Frankie Scigliano, but the one thing that jumps out is character. He’d been with our team for four years and he was the goalie of the year in the WLA and first team all-pro in the WLA.
“You’d think a guy like that would come up to you and say, ‘Coach, give me six or seven starts this year’, but he doesn’t say anything. He just goes to work and puts the jersey on and battles. That’s what he did on Saturday night.”
Malawsky hopes he can do it again next Saturday against the Buffalo Bandits.
The Bandits are licking their wounds as they are coming off of a 17-11 thrashing at the hands of the Rochester Knighthawks. With the loss, Buffalo dropped to 3-3.
They know that heading into Calgary will be a dogfight. The Roughnecks are a hungry team and will be eyeing their first win of the season at home.
“It’s going to be a huge game,” Dan Peat said. “You don’t want to be that team that goes into a team that’s that hungry for a win – it’s a tough spot to be in. They get a great crowd and everyone knows how good they are. They’re there at the end every year and they’ve got the guys and the leaders and the veterans to get them through any type of spot.
“I think we’re as prepared as we can be and were expecting a good game. We know how pumped and hyped they are going to be with the crowd and the fact they want to get their first win of the season.”
Avoiding the dreaded fifth straight loss will take a strong performance from the Roughnecks. The Bandits are a big, physical team with one of the best transition games in the NLL.
For Calgary to redeem themselves, they will need to stick to their game plan.
“It’s about following the game plan that’s put in front of us by the coaching staff,” Roughnecks transition player Geoff Snider said. “We’re always very prepared and you have to couple that with a strong effort and focus.”
Added Malawsky: “I don’t think were playing conducively up front as a unit. I think were doing more lefties go, righties go. Getting everyone back together, working hard, sharing the ball, sharing the load, sharing the balance on the floor, I think we will be more successful.”
Calgary thinned out plenty of the mistakes in their game against Toronto. Through hard work and better defence in the second half, they saw the positives outweigh the negatives, but couldn’t get the end result they desired.
The Roughnecks will look to change that outcome as they host a tough Buffalo team.
“We’re a hungry team and our guys want to get on the right side of the win column,” Malawsky said.