The Calgary Roughnecks (4-10) stayed in the playoff race and halted the Colorado Mammoth’s (8-6) four-game winning streak with a 14-9 home win in front of 9,871 roaring fans at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night.
“Our backs were against the wall, we needed to win the game and the guys knew what we had on the line and we came out we played hard, played tough… we had a good game,” said Calgary forward Shawn Evans.
The most points for the Roughnecks tonight came off the stick of Evans (3+9). Evans is only the second player in the NLL this year to get nine assists in one game, Josh Sanderson being the first. Riggers coaching staff seemed to appreciate his efforts and the team’s.
“He’s such a great feeder, obviously when he’s distributing the ball and guys are getting open, that’s a credit to the guys too though, they did the job of keeping themselves open and usually when you do Shawn Evans finds you. It was huge for us when he’s finding guys and the fact that they were getting open was great,” said Roughnecks assistant coach Bruce Codd said.
“Obviously, it’s a great accomplishment, with a Roughnecks jersey on,” Evans added. “But we needed a win.. I’m glad those things happened but I’m glad the ball was going in the back of the net for us to win tonight.”
Calgary goaltender Frankie Scigliano also had a great game tonight, making many unbelievable saves while stopping 25 shots on goal.
“He was huge, anytime they got one (goal), he showed his composure and his compete level to make sure they didn’t get that second one. I think a lot of times that what it is, it’s not how many you get it’s when you get them. He made the big saves to kick any chance of them getting on any kind of run,” Codd said.
The Roughnecks will now attempt to string two wins together for the first time this season as they take on the rival Edmonton Rush in another home-and-home series. The Riggers know that the playoffs are more or less on the line next week, and are ready to play.
“We’re going to start clicking here, and we’re going to start rolling. A lot of teams doubted us, a lot of people doubted us and I think we’re just going to be ready to release here and get going,” Evans concluded.
After tying it 4-4 in the first frame of the game, the Mammoth lost its momentum. A second half without a goal from the team hurt its chances at a ‘W’ tonight.
“Our offense stood around too much I think,” Mammoth coach Pat Coyle admitted. “I give Calgary credit they played a lot better than they did last night. Their defense stepped up, they were keeping the ball in our end a lot, so that made the difference. Really our offense sort of stalled there.”
Playing a home and home series just 17 hours apart can wear thin on any team, but Colorado’s coaching staff believes that there is no justification for the Mammoth’s performance tonight.
“They (Calgary) played the same game last night, they had the same flight as us,” Coyle said. “I don’t think that’s an excuse, I think mentally we just came in a little flat and they took advantage of it.”
Adam Jones (5+0) scored more than half of the goals for the Mammoth, however Coyle was hesitant to admit he carried the team tonight. A lack of team work may have been the deciding factor for Colorado.
“Adam scored some big goals for us, he played well and he’s a great player,” Coyle stated. “Some of the time the stats show that he carried us on his back, but there’s a lot of other stuff going on. That’s sort of what we want from Adam and expect from Adam. But if we’re not going as a team it doesn’t matter. One guy can’t win a game for us.”
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Shawn Evans
2) Adam Jones
3) Frankie Scigliano
By Laura Bates (@RoughnecksBeat) for NLL.com. Photo by Brad Watson.