NLL: Shocking showdown in Calgary tonight

Dane Dobbie pushes through the Colorado Mammoth defense. (Photo credit: Cliff McCaig)

The Calgary Roughnecks will take on the Colorado Mammoth on Friday night after both teams slid past their opponents last weekend. Each team knocked out a higher seed to get to the NLL Western Division final. The winner of this game will represent the west in the NLL Cup.

Calgary must have some sort of sense that their team is like fine wine that just keeps getting better with age because Dane Dobbie has been at it for 12 seasons of professional play. Dobbie ended the regular season with 47 goals and 67 assists giving him the total amount of points in the league and having 22 more points than the second place finisher. His three goals and four assists in Calgary’s first playoff win this season puts him in the top five in playoff points.

Curtis Dickson is right behind Dobbie on so many levels. Dickson also had seven points in what many felt was a shocking victory over a seemingly unbeatable Seals’ team. Dickson ended the regular season at a respectable 17 on the points list with 35 goals and 46 assists.

Calgary will have to use some of that magic against a solid Colorado team who seems to be saving its best lacrosse for when it really counts.

Colorado came in and upset first seed Saskatchewan – a team many thought would go all the way, based on their four-straight Cup final appearances. Colorado had to fight for every win they got this season and didn’t even clinch a playoff spot until late in the season. In the first round, Ryan Lee had an outstanding offensive day with a hat trick in both goals and assists. However, it appeared that the real star of the show was Joey Cupido who intercepted a pass and found his way around Evan Kirk. Colorado will need more men who can play multiple roles if they want to beat Calgary.

Calgary’s Christian Del Bianco is ranked #6 in goalie play this year with an 11.17 goals against average and a .782 save percentage. Dillon Ward comes in with a 10.84 goals against average and .775 save percentage.

Ward, who has found himself in numerous playoff situations before, must find that brick wall he has proven to be in he wants to shut down the dynamic duo of Dobbie-Dickson.

The 2019 playoffs have once again shown us that anything is possible in lacrosse.