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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
FINAL
Philadelphia
8
Halifax
18
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Vancouver
8
Toronto
19
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
San Diego
15
New York
14
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Albany
11
Buffalo
10
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Rochester
16
Georgia
11
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Colorado
6
Saskatchewan
18
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Sat, Dec 10
19:00:00
Toronto
Rochester
Sat, Dec 10
21:30:00
Vancouver
Calgary
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Fri, Dec 16
22:30:00
Panther City
Las Vegas
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Rochester
Albany
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Georgia
Sat, Dec 17
19:30:00
Halifax
New York
Sat, Dec 17
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Dec 30
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Dec 31
21:00:00
Panther City
Saskatchewan
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
22:30:00
Philadelphia
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Panther City
Rochester
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Halifax
Albany
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Buffalo
Georgia
Sat, Jan 7
19:30:00
Toronto
New York
Sat, Jan 7
22:00:00
Vancouver
San Diego
Sun, Jan 8
0:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
18:30:00
Albany
Halifax
Fri, Jan 13
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Colorado
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Halifax
Toronto
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Panther City
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 14
19:30:00
Georgia
Buffalo
Sat, Jan 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Jan 14
22:00:00
Las Vegas
Vancouver
Sun, Jan 15
15:00:00
Rochester
New York
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
19:30:00
Buffalo
Rochester
Fri, Jan 20
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
New York
Albany
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
18:00:00
Rochester
Halifax
Fri, Jan 27
19:00:00
Buffalo
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 28
19:30:00
Buffalo
New York
Sat, Jan 28
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Saskatchewan
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
Toronto
Calgary
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Jan 28
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
21:00:00
Georgia
Colorado
Sat, Feb 4
18:00:00
Calgary
Halifax
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
New York
Toronto
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
Albany
Philadelphia
Sat, Feb 4
19:30:00
Rochester
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Panther City
San Diego
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 4
22:30:00
Colorado
Las Vegas
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
19:30:00
Toronto
Georgia
Fri, Feb 10
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Sat, Feb 11
19:00:00
Halifax
Rochester
Sat, Feb 11
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Feb 11
20:00:00
Vancouver
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
21:00:00
Colorado
Calgary
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Georgia
Toronto
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Las Vegas
Albany
Sat, Feb 18
19:30:00
Philadelphia
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 18
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
13:00:00
New York
Halifax
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
21:00:00
Panther City
Colorado
Fri, Feb 24
22:30:00
Calgary
Las Vegas
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
New York
Rochester
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
Albany
Georgia
Sat, Feb 25
20:00:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
18:30:00
Buffalo
Halifax
Fri, Mar 3
21:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sat, Mar 4
11:30:00
New York
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Rochester
Toronto
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Mar 4
20:00:00
Saskatchewan
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Mar 10
21:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
Sat, Mar 11
19:00:00
Albany
Toronto
Sat, Mar 11
19:30:00
Philadelphia
New York
Sat, Mar 11
20:30:00
San Diego
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 11
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sun, Mar 12
16:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Fri, Mar 17
22:00:00
San Diego
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 18
11:00:00
Georgia
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 18
18:00:00
Toronto
Halifax
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Colorado
Buffalo
Sat, Mar 18
20:00:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
20:30:00
San Diego
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Toronto
Albany
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Halifax
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 25
19:30:00
Georgia
New York
Sat, Mar 25
21:30:00
Calgary
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Buffalo
San Diego
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Colorado
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 25
22:30:00
Rochester
Las Vegas
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
20:00:00
New York
Georgia
Fri, Mar 31
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Colorado
Fri, Mar 31
22:00:00
Calgary
San Diego
Sat, Apr 1
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Apr 1
20:00:00
Albany
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
21:30:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
Sun, Apr 2
13:00:00
Georgia
Halifax
Sun, Apr 2
18:00:00
Rochester
Philadelphia
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Albany
Rochester
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Saskatchewan
Georgia
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Panther City
Calgary
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Vancouver
Colorado
Sat, Apr 8
22:30:00
San Diego
Las Vegas
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Calgary
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Toronto
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Apr 15
19:30:00
New York
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 15
21:30:00
Halifax
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 15
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
20:30:00
Calgary
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
18:00:00
New York
Halifax
Sat, Apr 22
19:00:00
Georgia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 22
20:00:00
Toronto
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 22
21:30:00
Colorado
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 22
22:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sun, Apr 23
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Albany
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Buffalo
Albany
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Halifax
Georgia
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
Colorado
San Diego
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
New York
Vancouver
Sat, Apr 29
22:30:00
Saskatchewan
Las Vegas
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Stories/Op-Ed

Sask Away: Rush Takes Home 10-8 Win Vs. Roughnecks

The first-ever ‘Battle of the Prairies’ kicked off the 2016 NLL season for the Calgary Roughnecks (0-1) as they played host to the defending champion Saskatchewan Rush (1-0) on Saturday night. It was the opening to the season that the Rush was looking for, as they triumphed over the Riggers with a 10-8 comeback win in front of 11,977 fans at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Less than two minutes into the game Roughnecks Defenseman Dan MacRae scored the first goal of the 2016 season. ‘Necks forward Dane Dobbie then got an opportunity to put one past Aaron Bold on a power play. The first quarter would end with the Riggers in the lead 2-0, a good start against the team that eliminated them from a Champion’s Cup run last year.

“There’s a lot of animosity there,” said Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky. “They knocked us out last year and our guys didn’t forget that. And we came out of the gates hard.”

Five rookies were on Calgary’s opening-day 20-player roster and the coaching staff was impressed with their quick start and energy. 

“[The Rush] haven’t changed anything and we’ve made some changes,” Malawsky said. “There was lot that I liked about our game. I thought our compete was good, I thought our composure was great for a young team…they didn’t panic.”

Rush forward Ben McIntosh opened the scoring for the team. Defenseman Chris Corbeil then managed to tie the game up at 2 with a short-handed. The Rush then found themselves on a power play for five minutes as Roughnecks transition Curtis Manning took a major call for high sticking. Dane Dobbie still managed to put his second of the night past Bold. Wesley Berg kept the effort going by scoring his first-ever NLL goal. Followed by another goal from Curtis ‘Superman’ Dickson. Riggers lead the Rush 5-2 with Saskatchewan leading in shots, 29-28.

At the half, the Rush seemed to be the opposite of the high-powered championship team they were in 2015.

“I thought there was slow starts overall for our offense,” said Rush general manager and head coach Derek Keenan. “I mean we struggled a little bit, having two goals at halftime isn’t really characteristic of our team.”

The second half was when the game began turning around for the Rush. While they couldn’t put one on the board until almost 10 minutes into the 3rd, they found footing when Rush forward Zack Greer scored two goals in a row. A short-handed goal from Mark Matthews decreased the Riggers lead to just one goal, the third saw a huge change in the Rush’s gameplay.

“There were defensive stops at the start of the third quarter, and we finally made some plays,” Keenan said. “Transition-wise, we made some plays…and finally our goal scorers starting scoring a little bit too.

“Mark was sluggish in the first half, but got his legs going and started working a little bit harder, and Knight…Curtis is always going to give you that 100% effort, and, even if he’s not scoring, he does a lot of things for us that helps us win games.”

Rush forward Riley Loewen then tied up the game 6-6 with another great short-handed effort. That would conclude the third quarter. 

“We finally got our offense going a little bit in the second half and made some plays and finally got a little bit of execution… It was pretty good,” Keenan said.

“When you can get a couple of grind plays on offense, and you get a couple goals like that, it sparks our offense,” Matthews said. “And when that happens, we get the ball going and we find the back of the net.”

While the Rush powered ahead in the second, Malawsky watched his team start falling apart.

“We had a tough go in the second half but the Rush are a good team, they put you in spots,” he said. “I think that cost us, I think we stopped moving our feet, but they have that championship resiliency, and we have that youthful resiliency. But we have to be better.”

The Roughnecks then made a quick come back with back-to-back goals from Dickson and Dobbie, but it wasn’t enough. Mark Matthews didn’t take long to find the back of the net again. Saskatchewan found the lead just seconds after, as Church got his second of the evening.

“We came out and were a little flat in the second half there, and they took advantage of it,” said Roughnecks forward Curtis Dickson. “A couple of mental lapses and a couple short-handed goals that were the difference… It’s just one of those things where we got to finish when we’re in tight. And get those opportunities because you know they won’t come around often with these guys.” 

In the end, the Saskatchewan Rush would walk away with a 10-8 ‘W’ with a 48-45 favor in shots. An opening to the season the Roughnecks coaching staff was not happy with.

“To be honest with you, you don’t want to draw the champs right out of the gate,” Malawsky admitted. “I’d be lying if I said I wanted it, but you play who you play and they are who they are. When it’s all said and done, you have to measure yourself up against them. To me, it’s a results-based business and as great as we played…we still didn’t get the results.”

“It’s always tough when you play these guys, I thought they played really well and their defense was outstanding,” Keenan said. “But when you win a bit of an ugly one, sometimes you’re even happier than a perfect game.”

The Roughnecks will head to Buffalo to take on the Bandits next week, while the Rush have a bye week before hosting the Vancouver Stealth on January 15.

As for the two teams, they may now be in different provinces, but the same rivalry is still there.

“There’s no love lost there,” Matthews said. “It’s a battle every time.”

Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:

1) Mark Matthews
2) Dane Dobbie
3) Aaron Bold

Story by Laura Bates (@RoughnecksBeat) for NLL.com. Photo by Candice Ward.

NLL