CALGARY, AB — An era has ended for the Calgary Roughnecks.
The Calgary Roughnecks signed Geoff Snider to a ceremonial contract to have him end his career with the team on Tuesday.
Family, friends, teammates, and many others were present to provide their congrats to Snider on a fantastic career.
“Really proud of him,” Bob Snider said of his older brother. “He’s been a role model and mentor of mine growing up. Being here for him and being able to watch him do this, I’m so proud of him on the career that he’s had. What he’s done with the sport, his attitude on everything, the way that he’s competed, his effort level that he’s put into his career, just super proud to be his brother.”
Geoff Snider ends his nine-year tenure as the NLL’s All-Time face-off leader with 2,468 face-off wins. That is one of many records set by the elder Snider.
Now, the younger Snider is trying to fill the role left by his bother.
“I’ve got big shoes to fill with his role in the face-off circle,” admitted Bob Snider, a transition player with the Roughnecks. “We’re both competitive and being able to step in here and play in front of the home crowd, family, and friends, with what were doing here, it’s a big honour for me. I’m happy it worked out that way. Tough shoes to fill is definitely the thing to say about it all.”
Entering Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Bandits, forward Dane Dobbie was only one shy from tying Kaleb Toth as the Roughnecks all-time leader in goals scored.
Late in the first quarter, Dobbie scored his 274th goal, followed by his 275th just over a minute later.
It was a special experience for Dobbie.
“I got them early, but I couldn’t get any late to win the game for the team,” Dobbie said. “It’s something that I can look at after I’m all done playing. Kaleb was a wonderful player and he taught me the ropes of the game, so to be with him up there with him it’s special. He taught me how to be a professional lacrosse player. I have nothing but respect for him.”
Forward Curtis Dickson, with whom Dobbie’s played for six years, has a lot of respect for one of the games’ best scorers.
Even with 275 career goals, Dickson believes that Dobbie is under rated amongst the lacrosse world.
“He’s just a fantastic lacrosse player,” Dickson said of his long-time teammate. “He’s very underrated. He flies under the radar and not a lot of people give him the respect that he deserves. He’s been scoring goals since he came into the league. Since I’ve been playing, he’s been a 40-goal scorer every year, which is not an easy thing to do in this league.
“I know that he put in a lot of work this offseason to try and slim down and come to camp in better shape and he definitely did that and it’s showing on the floor.”
Scoring on the power play or getting a big stop on the penalty kill can be a big source of momentum in any game. Since 2014, the Calgary Roughnecks have been one of the league’s best in both department.
“That’s a big thing in this league, special teams,” Dickson said. “That’s something that last year, helped bring us out of the whole. We had the best power play and penalty kill in the league when the regular season was done last year. It definitely helps.”
The Roughnecks were first in power play percentage in 2014 and 2015 with a 55.75 percent and a 55.29 percent, respectively. This season, they are third with a 53.35 percent rating, but lead the league with seven power play goals.
Dobbie has been the catalyst of the Roughnecks special teams unit in 2016, leading all scorers with three goals and three assists. He’s been in on all but one power play goal.
Rookie Wesley Berg has been a force on the power play as well. His two first NLL goals have been lasers while manning the point on the man advantage.
On the penalty kill, the Riggers have had the best percentage in the NLL. They had a 67.68 percent in 2014, a 64.36 percent in 2015, and have a strong 66.67 percent so far in 2016.