By Alex Medina | Staff Writer
Photo Credit GetMyPhoto.ca
Having home advantage hasn’t quite paid off the way that the Calgary Roughnecks would like.
The Roughnecks find themselves with a 1-4 record at the Scotiabank Saddledome so far for the 2017 NLL campaign, with their only home victory on Jan. 28 against the Colorado Mammoth.
They’ll look to put an end to their current home losing streak of three games Saturday at 7:30 p.m. MST against the top team in the NLL, the Georgia Swarm.
“We aren’t happy with our record,” Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky said.
“We just need to remember who we are and be prepared to play them.”
In addition to a three game home losing streak, the Roughnecks are coming off a loss against rivals the Saskatchewan Rush last weekend, which set their record back to 3-5, with the current four game losing streak being a big factor of the record.
Despite coming off the loss, the Roughnecks were able to start off the game quicker than they have in prior games, where they struggled to create offense in the first quarter.
Overall, Malawsky was pleased with the team effort throughout the entire game, which he believes will carry over into the two games this weekend.
“As a team we identified and made adjustments to change things up,” Malawsky said.
“We changed things up as a coaching staff so the players think a lot less. Changed our video sessions and shoot around.”
With playing back-to-back games against the Mammoth Friday night and the Swarm Saturday, the option to play both goaltenders Frank Scigliano and Christian Del Bianco are available for Malawsky.
Malawsky gave high praise to the young duo, as both have shown strong play when they get the call to defend the net.
“We have two of the best young goalies in the NLL,” Malawsky said.
“You take out the age and they play like seasoned vets.”
Whichever young goalie gets the call Saturday night, they’ll look across to the other end and see someone all familiar with the Roughnecks.
Goaltender Mike Poulin, who signed with the Swarm this past off-season, spent seven seasons with the Roughnecks, putting up a record of 52-31 over the seven years.
Poulin has a 6-1 record with an 11.51 goals against average and .793 save percentage this season, helping the Swarm jump out to their impressive 7-1 record.
The Roughnecks will also have to deal with one of the top scorers in the league in Lyle Thompson, who currently has scored 25 goals, to go along with 34 assists for 59 points.
The matchup will be a big test for them but despite that, Malawsky stated the importance of getting past the first game, before shifting their focus to the Swarm.
“Right now, it’s all about Colorado,” Malawsky said.
“As we always say, we need to look through the windshield.”