The Calgary Roughnecks (0-5) are still looking for the team’s first win of the season after a heartbreaking 15-14 home loss in overtime at the hands of the Buffalo Bandits (4-3) in front of 10,312 screaming fans at Scotiabank Saddledome.
“We knew they were going to come out of the gates hard,” said Bandits head coach Troy Cordingley about the Roughnecks. “They’re a very good team, they’re not an 0-5 team by any means, and everybody in the league knows it.”
“It was a challenge for us,” Cordingley added. “I like the resiliency of our team where things weren’t going our way in the third quarter, but we stuck to the game plan. We continued to battle…this league is about finding a way and we found a way tonight.”
Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky was fired up after the game but said he likes the way his team kept battling.
“What a character comeback,” Malawsky said. “We can sit here and talk about ‘what ifs’ but why don’t we talk about the character we showed to come back. Why don’t we talk about (Jeff) Shattler stepping up, guys soaking balls, Frankie (Scigliano) giving us real good minutes, why don’t we talk about that stuff today.”
“I thought we battled back,” added Roughnecks transition player Geoff Snider. “I thought we worked really hard and a couple of breaks here and there and we’re on the losing side of it.”
Frankie Scigliano made his second straight start for the Roughnecks giving up 15 goals on 56 shots while Anthony Cosmo gave up 14 goals on 58 shots.
“He played great, gave us a chance to win,” Malawsky said. “They scored one from way out but there’s a lot of guys going, he’s dead tired, he’s getting a ton of shots in there. Yeah, he’s upset with himself but I wouldn’t expect any different, that shows the character and warrior he is.”
“Every goalie in the league is huge,” Cordingley said. “I thought Scigliano was extremely good tonight. Those goalies were outstanding, they had a lot of shots and Cos (Anthony Cosmo) is a veteran guy. I believe he is the best in the league and he showed it tonight.”
Leading the way for the Roughnecks once again was star forward Shawn Evans who had eight points (2+6) in the losing effort.
“Shawn Evans is one hell of a player,” Malawsky said. “He’ll go to war for any one of his teammates, when we need a big goal, he’ll get it. He makes everyone on the floor better and I love that guy. When someone needs to bloody their knees, it’s Shawn Evans. He’s a warrior and a big part of this team.”
“We say we play offense by committee and we did,” Malawsky continued. “Dicker (Curtis Dickson) had a good game, Evy (Shawn Evans) was battling, Shats (Jeff Shattler) had a big one at the end, and Dobs (Dane Dobbie) is just getting better and better as the season goes on. Velts (Daryl Veltman) had a big night for us and Karsen, if you guys put a stopwatch on him I think the thing would break with the minutes he plays up and down the floor.”
Cordingley had nothing but good things to say about Buffalo’s young star Dhane Smith, who had a career-high 10 points (5+5) and matched his career high with five goals.
“Everybody’s got those guys on your team that pick everybody up and put them on their back,” Cordingley said. “Dhane did that for us tonight, he’s 23 years old and the kid is just going to get better and better. I believe he’s going to be one of the best players in this league, if not the best. We’ll take his effort tonight and on any night.”
The Roughnecks will now travel to Vancouver to take on the Stealth while the Bandits will welcome Rochester to Banditland.
“One thing about leadership is – when you’re in the dumps near the bottom – that’s when you step up,” said Malawsky. “It’s easy to fold and finger point, but we’re not doing that in that (locker) room. We’re going to continue to battle, we’re going to go to Vancouver, a massive game for us next weekend and we’re going to saddle up, we’re going to prepare ourselves accordingly during the week and we’re going to give it our best effort out there.”
“It’s a game of inches,” Snider said. “When you run into adversity and things don’t go your way, it’s a frustrating time. The good news is we’ve got 13 more games to play and we’ve got a hard working group of guys and the bounces are going to come if we keep working hard.”
This is the Bandits fourth win of the season and Cordingley says he has nothing but respect for the Roughnecks and that this win is going to make the flight home that much more enjoyable.
“They’ve got an outstanding coaching staff and they’re very well prepared all the time,” Cordingley said. “Their team is an outstanding team so you’re not going to see this team continue to lose. They’re too good and have too many veterans that are good players…they’re going to get it going.”
“It’s a four-hour flight,” he added. “This league is about winning. And when you lose, it’s a tough pill to swallow and this win will make it an easier flight tomorrow.”
Calgary hadn’t lost five games in a row since the 2002 season when the team had an eight-game slide. Buffalo got back over .500 in the standings and in the two teams’ all-time series, which the Bandits now lead 5-4.
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Dhane Smith
2) Shawn Evans
3) Anthony Cosmo
By Kassidy Collins (@RoughnecksBeat) for NLL.com. Photo by Brad Watson.