Rookie goalie filling in well for injured starter in Calgary, plus the links

Frankie Scigliano defends his net against Jeff Cornwall and the Rush. (Photo: Amber Bracken)
Frankie Scigliano defends his net against Jeff Cornwall and the Rush. (Photo: Amber Bracken)

Frankie Scigliano has stepped up big with Mike Poulin missing the last two games for Calgary, helping the Roughnecks clinch the West Division title and home floor throughout the playoffs. He looms large in Calgary’s future. He’ll cast a long shadow for whoever replaces him with his junior team. The immensely talented goalie is….okay, you get the picture. Scigliano’s a big guy. At 6′4″, 290 pounds, he is well suited to blocking the lacrosse net. And blocking is his approach to his position. “Being a bigger guy they like to try to get you moving and my feet have to be pretty quick,” he said. “I’m a blocker, though. I try to play the angles and if the guy is going to beat me, he has to beat me,” Scigliano told the Calgary Herald.

The numbers show that they’re not beating him too often. After making his first two starts for Calgary (starter Mike Poulin is out with an ankle injury), Scigliano has as many wins this season as Anthony Cosmo (2). He also sports a stellar .797 save percentage after allowing just six goals on 44 shots in last night’s 9-6 Roughnecks win over Edmonton. That brought his goals against average down to a respectable 10.72. While Poulin’s still the man in the Saddledome, acclimatization to the NLL over the last two weeks could actually serve the Riggers well if they have to turn to their backup for any reason in the playoffs. In fact, if he’s needed in the post-season, Scigliano could play a huge role for the Riggers. Sorry, couldn’t resist one more.

Plus the links

Colin Boucher is ready to roll for the summer, returning to the Huntsville Hawks Sr B team after a successful winter run in the inaugural season of the Canadian Lacrosse League. Boucher was named Clax’s top defensive player, made the first all-star team and was a runner-up for IL Indoor’s MVP award. “It was great for Ontario to have another pro league where we could play through the winter and help us get with our play in the summer,” he says. “I was very surprised at how competitive it was, with a lot of two-way play going back to the old style. It was a lot faster, a lot of pushing the ball up the floor with a lot more pressure defence than I am used to in the summertime.” (cottagecountrynow.ca)…Larry Smeltzer was a goalie in his playing days, but as a coach he’s all about the offence. The Victoria Jr A Shamrocks new head man even picked his goalies for how well they can handle the ball and get it up the floor for transition breaks, he says. “Box lacrosse seems to be a bit of a dying sport. It is too slow and predictable – it is like field lacrosse in an arena. I plan on changing that with this group of players.” (timescolonist.com)…A couple of hours up Vancouver Island, the Cowichan Valley Thunder Midget A team has supplied a number of players to the Victoria intermediate club, and was looking to learn from the top juniors. Thunder coach Lorne Winship took his whole club to watch the Shamrocks’ pre-season tilt against Nanaimo. “It’s just the next progression — our whole team attended the game, and focused on the motion and movement on the offensive side of the floor,” Winship said. (cowichannewsleader.com)…Airdrie, Alberta’s Mike Raho will spend the season trying to stop the former Thunder players from scoring for Victoria. He’s thrilled to be joining the Delta Islanders intermediate team this summer. “It’s pretty awesome,” said Raho. “It’s the coolest thing ever to be signed by them (Islanders). It’s a whole different atmosphere out there. I love it here – I’m born and raised in Airdrie – but lacrosse is so much different out in B.C.” (airdrieecho.com)…The St. Albert Miner’s traveled the other direction last summer, heading east to Turtle Island on the Akwesasne Reserve for the 2011 Presidents Cup. They hope to make a much shorter trip this year. The 2012 Cup is being played in nearby Spruce Grove at the Grant Fuhr Arena. “If the guys stick to the system we should be in Spruce Grove in August,” said head coach Vay Diep. (stalbertgazette.com)…The Toronto Beaches have won 14 OLA Jr A lacrosse games the last four years. Not 14 per year; 14 total. But with a new coaching and management staff featuring a raft of current and former NLL players, they’re expecting things to start turning around. Brodie Merrill has signed on to be the Beaches’ GM and Ryan Cousins is his assistant. Bruce Codd is the head coach and Merrick Thomson is among his assistants. The high-powered coaching staff should help stem the tide of top players leaving the Beaches for greener pastures. New jerseys and a sprucing up of the Ted Reeve Arena will help change the tone in Toronto. (beachmetro.com)…Jr B lacrosse is back in Brampton after being gone for a long time. The Excelsiors return to the charming, sweaty confines of the Brampton Memorial Arena and they’re off to a good start with an 11-6 win over Hamilton in their home opener last night. (bramptonguardian.com)…Lacrosse was missing in Northumberland County for several years, too, but it’s back in action. After folding five years ago because of a lack of volunteers, the area’s league returns with more than 30 house league teams of boys and girls ages 3 to 21. There will also be tyke and novice rep teams playing under the name Northumberland Nemesis, which immediately jumps near the top of the cool nickname charts. (northumberlandnews.com)

Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at stamplax@hotmail.com.

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