Saturday night the Calgary Roughnecks journey to Minnesota to take on the Minnesota Swarm in Week 7 action.
This is the second game of the weekend for the Roughnecks, who are currently sitting at 4-2 atop of the West Division of the NLL. The Swarm are currently tied for third in the division at 2-3, only 1.5 games behind, and just took out the NLL’s first place overall Toronto Rock last week.
Calgary’s deep, balanced offense is scoring 14.2 goals per game so far this year, top in the NLL. They’re currently led by Shawn Evans, with 39 points while Curtis Dickson, Jeff Shattler, Scott Ranger and Dane Dobbie are also in the Top 30 in league scoring.
Goalie Mike Poulin has been looking stronger and stronger as the season has progressed and had an exceptional game last weekend, stopping 45 shots for the win against the Edmonton Rush.
Geoff Snider is top in the league in loose balls, with 94, and second in faceoffs won with 126.
Minnesota’s answer to Snider is Jordan MacIntosh who is currently third in the league in faceoff percentage, at 62.8 percent, not far behind Snider’s 78.3 percent. MacIntosh may be one of the very few players in the NLL right now who can limit Snider’s faceoff dominance, neutralizing one of their big advantages.
Ryan Benesch is leading the Swarm’s offense, with 26 points, while rookie Shayne Jackson is having a solid season, with 21 points.
Splitting time between the pipes again for the Swarm are Tyler Carlson and Evan Kirk. They have combined for 13.4 goals against per game, which is behind their pace from last year, but both are capable of having big games.
Minnesota has an advantage in the transition game, with a very deep group featuring MacIntosh, Andrew Suitor, and rookies Kiel Matisz and Brock Sorensen. If they can create pressure on transition, Calgary’s defense will be pushed to the limit and that could give the Swarm the opportunity to upset the best in the West one week after beating the best in the East.
The fun starts at 7:30 in the Xcel Energy Center.