The Calgary Roughnecks moved a game closer to their quest of making the playoffs with a decisive 14-9 victory over the Colorado Mammoth last night in Calgary.
With the win, the Roughnecks improve to 4-10 on the season, just a half game back of the Vancouver Stealth for the final playoff spot in the West Division. The Mammoth drop to 8-6 but remain solidly in second place in the division and have already secured their place in the postseason.
After losing the Colorado in overtime on Friday, the Riggers needed this win to stay in playoff contention. And with just four games left on the regular season schedule, they’ll need to continue winning.
The offense was driven by an outstanding performance by forward Shawn Evans who registered a hat trick and nine assists to bring him to a league-leading 105 points on the season. At his current pace he should easily eclipse the NLL record for points in a season.
Goaltender Frankie Scigliano held Colorado to just nine goals but credit for the low goal total really belongs to the Calgary defense who held the Mammoth to just 34 shots and shut down offensive threats John Grant Jr. (1 G) and Drew Westervelt (1 A).
The Roughnecks were not able to contain Adam Jones, who had a five-goal night, and rookie Jeremy Noble who logged four assists. At the other end of the floor, rookie netminder Alex Buque had a decent night, turning away 39 shots in the loss.
For the second night in a row, the battle in the faceoff circle wasn’t much of a battle as Geoff Snider dominated his brother Bob, winning 18 of 26 draws and giving Calgary a distinct advantage in possessions.
Calgary now moves on to a home-and-home series against the Edmonton Rush. The Rush have won five straight; their last defeat came in overtime to the Roughnecks. Colorado meanwhile heads to Rochester next weekend to take on the three-time defending champion Knighthawks who set an NLL record last night by holding the Minnesota Swarm to just two goals.