The Calgary Roughnecks will look to sweep a home-and-home series with Colorado when the Mammoth visit the Scotiabank Saddledome Saturday night.
The Roughnecks defeated the Mammoth in the first meeting last Friday, but Head Coach Curt Malawsky said he expects to see a much different team in the second game.
“When you play a team back-to-back, with the coaching and the video at this level, it becomes a bit of a chess game,” said Malawsky. “The start of the game will be very important.”
Malawsky said he knows the Mammoth coaching staff will have looked at game film, and expects them to have a different look.
“There were a few breakdowns we were able to expose them on, and I know their coaching staff will make some adjustments there. On our end, we have to try and take advantage of the things we did good on, and clean up some areas where they exposed us.”
During the third quarter of the first meeting, Greg Harnett delivered a hit to Mammoth forward Jeremy Noble, a hit that saw Harnett ejected from the game for boarding.
“From a Calgary perspective, it looked like a shoulder-to-shoulder hit, with no contact to the head. I know they’re a disciplined team, so I don’t expect any kind of retribution.”
Dane Dobbie reached the 300-goal plateau for his NLL career in the first meeting, but said it’s not going to change anything for him going forward this season.
“I think when it’s all said and done and I hang up the gear, it’ll definitely mean something,” said Dobbie. “As of right now, I’m more worried about getting the wins, and getting the team going, starting again this Saturday.”
Dobbie said he expects a tight, physical game on Saturday, which seems to be the norm when the two teams meet.
“Every time we play them, it’s always an excellent lacrosse game, and I don’t expect anything less this weekend. We’re just going to have to outwork and outcompete them, and hopefully come away with two points.”
Curtis Dickson has picked up right where he left off last season offensively, and will look to continue that pace on Saturday. Dickson said he attributes a lot of his offensive success this season to his line mates.
“As cliché as it sounds, it’s the guys around me finding me open and getting me good looks,” said Dickson.
Dickson said when the team’s been able to play 5-on-5, they’ve been very good, but it’s staying out of the penalty box that’s been a big problem this season, and a problem they need to fix this Saturday.
“Discipline and staying out of the box has been our achilles heel so far this season. If we can stay out of the penalty box, that’s when we’re going to be the most successful.”
The Mammoth also have their own offensive star in forward Callum Crawford, a player the Roughnecks will look to keep in check on Saturday.
“He’s a fantastic player, as you saw last year, and this year he’s putting up big numbers again,” said Dickson. Our defense did a great job on him last game, and we have to do a lot of the same things this game.”
It’s going to be a “Star Wars party” at the Saddledome as the Roughnecks will be wearing specially designed Star Wars-themed jerseys. The limited edition game worn jerseys will be auctioned in support of STARS Air Ambulance.
Roughnecks and Mammoth game action will begin at 7 p.m. local time (9 p.m. EST) on Saturday.