By Gary Ahuja / NLL.com Correspondent
Photo by Jenn Pierce / Calgary Roughnecks
The Calgary Roughnecks have had a full week to sit back, lick their wounds and prepare to exact some revenge against the Vancouver Stealth.
The Stealth came into Calgary last week and edged the host Roughnecks 12-11 in the National Lacrosse League opener for both squads. But while Vancouver played the next night, defeating the Colorado Mammoth 15-9 in Denver to improve to 2-0, the Roughnecks have been sitting and stewing over their opening-day loss.
Calgary (0-1) will get their chance to spoil Vancouver’s home opener as the West Division rivals clash on Saturday night (10 p.m. EST) at the Langley Events Centre.
The Roughnecks trailed throughout against Vancouver before closing the game on a 4-0 run to come up one goal short.
“I think Vancouver completely outplayed us for probably 90 per cent of the game,” said Calgary coach Curt Malawksy.
“I liked our compete; if we had played the whole game like we played the fourth quarter, who knows what the result would have been.”
The Roughnecks will also have a full complement of players available for this weekend’s rematch, including No. 1 goaltender Frankie Scigliano.
Scigliano and defensemen Greg Harnett and Garrett McIntosh missed the first game as part of their suspensions stemming from a line brawl in a pre-season game against Saskatchewan.
They were part of six regulars missing and Malawksy said having them available for the rematch will definitely make a difference.
And Stealth coach Jamie Batley knows they will be facing a motivated Calgary opponent.
“They are going to be hungry and they are not going to let us get a five-goal lead or anything like that,” Batley cautioned. “We are going to have to come and play (a full) 60 minutes.”
Batley also expects Calgary’s offense to step up.
“Calgary’s offense is an amazing offense; they have five or six guys that can score at any time so we really have to tighten our defense up and try to counterattack some of the plays they have,” he said.
“They execute their plays really well so defensively we are going to have to have a really great game.”
NOTES: Through two games, Vancouver’s Rhys Duch (eight goals, eight assists) and Corey Small (five goals, 11 assists) share the scoring lead with 16 points apiece.
Tyler Richards was in goal for both Stealth victories, stopping 79 of 99 shots.
Special teams have played a big role in both games as Vancouver connected on six of their nine man-advantage chances. Conversely, however, opposing teams have scored on four of their five power-play chances.