The Calgary Roughnecks (3-8) earned a crucial win to help get back into the playoff race by drilling the New England Black Wolves (3-6) at home by a score of 20-9 before a crowd of 9,478 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night.
It was the ‘Necks that dominated the game, scoring more goals in the first frame of this game than any other it has played this season. Calgary forward Curtis “Superman” Dickson was happy to see his team’s large improvement from last weekend.
“We had seven goals last week, and that’s not going to win you any games in this league,” he said. “We knew we had to be better and we prepared well for this game and showed up for it.”
“Our offense as a whole tonight was unbelievable we were moving the ball around and scoring on all our chances it was awesome to see,” Dickson added.
Riggers goaltender Frankie Scigliano had a huge night by stopping 46 shots from the Black Wolves, a start that the coaching staff was impressed with.
“He’s a competitor, he battles in there, and he made the big ones,” said Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky. “The defense can settle in when they know the goaltender is doing a good job and stopping the ones he’s supposed to stop…I thought he did a heck of a job and it was a well-deserved win for him.”
The Roughnecks haven’t had an output of 20 goals since February 2014; tonight was a huge win for them. However, the team is not forgetting where they come from. Focusing on an upcoming game against the Toronto Rock, who is first in the league, is most important in their minds.
“It’s been slow starts all year, that’s kind of how we got ourselves in holes and that’s how we’ve been losing games,” Dickson said. “Nothing’s ever easy in this league with the parity the way it is, but it’s one of those things where we got to carry momentum over. We played a great game tonight but we got to put that in the back of our mind once tomorrow rolls around, we’ve got to get prepared.”
As for the identity that the coaching staff said the ‘Necks were having trouble finding, Malawsky believes it’s now starting to come through.
“This team doesn’t have a lot of smiles at practice, it’s all business,” he said. “That’s the mindset that we’re gonna have, and I think these guys are starting to find their identity. Next week is a new week, but I think we’ve learned from previous ones.”
In the Black Wolves locker room, there was a different tone. After getting a win in Minnesota Last week, breaking a five-game losing streak, then being defeated again tonight; it seems the team is having trouble finding consistency this season.
“The performance was terrible, and every aspect of the game could have improved,” Black Wolves head coach Blane Harrison admitted.
Black Wolves forward Pat Saunders (3+1) was the only team member to earn a hat trick tonight. Coaching staff believe Saunders carried the team on his back as much as he could tonight.
“He’s been somewhat consistent,“ Harrison said. “We challenged him to be a little bit better and he was tonight, I guess, in fairness to him he was probably the lone bright spot in an otherwise dreary and dismal two hours.”
Harrison also believes that even though the teams only play each other once a year, it had nothing to do with the loss tonight.
“We spend a lot of time and we know these guys from past years, and from summer ball,” Harrison said. “They played a very good game, they were shooting the ball very well and played defense well, and Frankie stepped up and made the saves that he needed to save.”
The Black Wolves will now host the Minnesota Swarm next week, where they will be looking for another ‘W’ against their divisional opponent.
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Shawn Evans
2) Frankie Scigliano
3) Curtis Dickson
By Laura Bates (@RoughnecksBeat) for NLL.com. Photo by Rob McMorris.