CALGARY — At just 25 years old, Frank Scigliano is a wily veteran in between the pipes.
Drafted by the Calgary Roughnecks 18th overall in 2011 – using a pick acquired from the Philadelphia Wings for Paul Dawson – Scigliano has long been appointed the goaltender of the future for the Riggers.
In his rookie campaign, he spent a majority of his time watching from the sidelines as starter Mike Poulin was a dominant force in the net, eventually winning the Goaltender of the Year award that season.
Scigliano saw his first NLL action on Feb. 10, 2012 against the Washington Stealth. He stopped 34 of 35 shots in just over 35 minutes of play to help the Roughnecks beat the Stealth, 12-11. It was his first recorded win.
His first start in the show came a couple months later in Rochester, where he suffered his first loss, 14-12. But he would rebound the following weekend, allowing the Edmonton Rush to score just six goals and earning another ‘W’.
Fast-forward five years and the big kid is more of a man now. Listed at 6-foot-4, 285 pounds, Scigliano covers a lot of the net, which makes it hard for opposing forwards to find space to shoot.
So why did it take so long for him to take the starting role?
“He’s paid his dues and it’s his turn now,” explained defenceman Scott Carnegie. “He works hard, he practices hard and he’s in the right mindset. It’s not a lack of talent, he probably could have played two or three years ago, but he bided his time and he learned from Poulin and now it’s his team.
“He’s been so good this year, stepping into his own. It’s his team and his net. He’s been great, real solid. When we do breakdown on defence, he’s been there to bail us out.”
But now it’s Scigliano’s team and he’s owning it.
After having to sit out the season’s first game due to a suspension for a fight in the pre-season, he has lead the Roughnecks to three straight victories while owning the league’s second best goals against average at 10.00.
“Feels good,” admitted Scigliano. “I’m not going to take all the credit for it this year. I think the D is playing unreal in front of me, I think you saw that tonight with some of the balls they knocked down. Guys are putting their bodies on the line, soaking shots out there, and I can’t ask for much more on my end.”
While he credits the defence in front of him, they recognize how well he’s played behind them.
Scigliano’s play in net has given the defence the confidence to play with more aggression and attack opposing forwards.
“Those 50/50 balls that you might not win, but you know you have Frank back there to bail you out, so you might go a bit harder,” said Carnegie.
Compared to the results after four games one year ago, the Roughnecks have forced an additional 15 turnovers – and that’s a lot. Those extra chances can result in crucial opportunities or scoring chances for the Riggers.
In the summer prior to the 2017 NLL season, Scigliano gained a new perspective on the game of lacrosse and what is needed to win at the pro level after he helped the Maple Ridge Burrards to their first Mann Cup berth since 1990.
“I think you take those experiences in the summer and you try to build. It’s a tough feeling at the end when you go all the way and you lose it,” acknowledges Scigliano. “This opportunity only lasts so long and you’ve got to make the most of it while you’re out here. I appreciate the game a lot more and everything it has given to me here. I feel I need to give back to it.”
Scigliano’s opportunity is right now with the Roughnecks and he intends on making the most of it. He is playing outstanding lacrosse and he’s hoping to continue his stellar play at the Rough House over the next few weeks.
Although he isn’t a Calgary native, Scigliano feels like the ‘Dome is his second home and he really builds off of the excitement of the crowd when he makes a big save.
“The announcer gets it going for me,” admitted Scigliano. “In the fourth quarter I stopped a guy in the crease and it was good to get a nice cheer from the crowd. I don’t live here, but I feel like a hometown product.”
That means when Mookie yells, ‘WHAT’S HE GOT?’
You’ve got to yell, ‘NOTHING!’ at the top of your lungs!