Saturday’s victory over the Stealth was more than just a win for the Roughnecks

Winners in 2 of their last 3, the Roughnecks hope they're off and running to an NLL title. (Photo: Brad Watson)
Winners in 2 of their last 3, the Roughnecks hope they're off and running to an NLL title. (Photo: Brad Watson)

There were several storylines for the Calgary Roughnecks in their 15-12 National Lacrosse League win over the Vancouver Stealth on Saturday. For one, they won. Second, they redeemed themselves. Third, Curtis Dickson snapped his skid and fourth, the power play re-discovered its touch. “We needed it,” forward Shawn Evans told The Calgary Sun. “I think we were due.” And while the Riggers have a week to prepare for their next game, a home meeting against West Division rival Colorado, the boys have some positive developments to look back on with the hope of extending that momentum as they look to build on the momentum of winning 2 of their last 3 games.

Friday’s loss to Edmonton was deflating. The Riggers simply could not get it going and were slowed once again by a lack of discipline. And even when they got the chance to cash in on the power play, the wallet was empty as they went 0-for-5. On Saturday, the man-up unit was 6-for-9 against the Stealth.

“Everybody on our power play has a little bit of pride and (Friday) we didn’t even get a goal and we got two against us, so we kind of thought about it and we worked on it (Saturday morning) and it came to play,” forward Dane Dobbie told The Sun.

As for Dickson, he came into the game with just 2 goals in 3 games after scoring 42 last winter. He scored just 1 in Saturday’s win, but that didn’t come until the third quarter and the emotion he displayed after the goal said a lot.

“Curt’s been fighting it a little bit coming off a couple injuries and just trying to find his groove,” teammate Geoff Snider told The Sun. “He’s one of the best lacrosse players in the world and he’s going to get there and, I think, we were all just real excited for him. That kind of tipped the scales a bit for us, seeing him have success.”

Wins are big, obviously, but sometimes it’s how you win that makes winning even more valuable. Losing can have the same effect and it appears the Roughnecks got a lesson in both this past weekend. Picked by many to be an NLL title contender coming into this season, it’s perhaps taken a little longer than anticipated for Calgary to find its groove. So has it? That’s impossible to know right now, but Saturday’s game against Colorado should provide some more answers.

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Playing 4 games in 9 days wasn’t the only issue for the Colorado Mammoth, whose loss to Buffalo on Saturday was their fourth straight. “We were running on four hours sleep. We got into town at three o’clock (this afternoon). This league’s tough. They didn’t do us any favors this weekend, but you’ve got a game to play. You’ve got a job to do and we didn’t do it,” said veteran Sean Pollock. (Colorado Mammoth) … A 15-8 loss to Edmonton in this season’s first edition of the Battle of Alberta certainly got the attention of the Calgary Roughnecks, who responded with a 15-12 win over Vancouver the day after losing to Edmonton. “It was a wake-up call last night and I think we answered. It was a big game for us after Edmonton taking it to us last night. We needed a breakout game for our offence to get us going. Hopefully this leads us in the right direction,” said F Shawn Evans. (Calgary Roughnecks) … The Toronto Rock no doubt had read and heard about the defense in Rochester and on Saturday, they got their first taste of it in a 12-8 road loss to the Knighthawks. “They’re very good at what they do. It’s difficult to get easy shots from them. I liked some of the looks we had, we just didn’t get any of them to fall for us,” said Rock coach John Lovell. (DemocratandChronicle).

Chavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at bob.chavez@nllinsider.com or go to RochesterSports.com.

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