There were times during the 2013 NLL season when the Calgary Roughnecks had some challenges between the pipes.
Coming off his first Goaltender of the Year award, Mike Poulin was expected to carry the defensive load for the team, but he was not able to match his 2012 performance. After posting a 10.27 goals against average with a .789 save percentage—both career bests—he slipped to a 12.70 GAA and a .742 save percentage in 2013, both well under his historical averages.
To make matters worse, backup goalie Frankie Scigliano was not able to provide much relief. Scigliano had a fine rookie season in 2012 where he logged a 10.70 GAA and a .797 save percentage, including two starts at the end of the season while Poulin nursed an injured leg. But in 2013 he wasn’t able to stop much of anything, turning aside just eight of 16 shots in limited minutes over seven games.
Poulin had a decent summer playing for the KW Kodiaks. He played most of the team’s minutes between the pipes and produced a 8.71 GAA and .759 save percentage followed by a 10.67 GAA and .761 save percentage in the playoffs. Those numbers might indicate that he is returning to his typical form, although he his career year in 2012 might have been just that.
Big Frankie also had a strong summer with the New Westminster Jr. Salmonbellies. His 7.07 GAA and .827 save percentage helped propel the Salmonbellies to the Minto Cup. His 9.45 GAA and .795 save percentage were also solid, although not quite enough to guide them to the championship.
The Roughnecks have some difficult decisions to make in the coming weeks. Obviously, the starting goaltender’s job is Poulin’s to lose. He is experienced and he is right in his prime.
However, based on summer play, Scigliano might be making a bid to shake off the sophomore jinx and challenge for the top role with Calgary. Still just 21 years old and not turning 22 until just after the new season gets underway, he is continuing to make strides in the right direction and should be ready for a more substantial role with the team.
In fact, if Poulin has a slow start, head coach Curt Malawsky might be faced with a situation where he needs to put his trust in young Scigliano. And with the way Frankie looked this summer, he should find that trust to be well placed.