The Calgary Roughnecks finally got the monkey off their back on Saturday when they finally picked up their first win of the season, a 16-13 victory over the Vancouver Stealth.
The Roughnecks were able to reach their full potential on the offensive end by scoring five powerplay goals, by winning the loose ball battle 51-41, and by getting some critical saves from goalie Frankie Scigliano.
If they can maintain that level of focus, they can start to claw their way back into the playoff picture. However, they shouldn’t start getting too comfy just yet.
They got huge help from Curtis Dickson and his seven-goal game. “Superman” is certainly capable of having big games, but looking for him to score sock tricks every night is probably asking a bit much.
While they also got good nights out of Dane Dobbie (7 PTS), Shawn Evans (6 PTS) and Daryl Veltman (5 PTS), they need those guys to keep producing at a high rate while also seeing Jeff Shattler get back in the groove after a sub-par two-point night.
They also need to maintain—or improve—focus on the defensive end. On several occasions against the Stealth, sniper Rhys Duch found himself open in good shooting zones. His four-goal night could have easily been five or six were it not for big stops by Scigliano.
They also need to do a better job of staying out of the penalty box. While they gave up fewer shorthanded opportunities than Vancouver last weekend, they still wound up a man down six times, which right around their season average and simply way too high.
Against a team that doesn’t take many penalties like the Rochester Knighthawks—their opponents in their next game on Feb. 28—all those penalties will cost them.