Warriors’ Head Coach Curt Malawsky will face his former team, the Calgary Roughnecks, this coming weekend at Rogers Arena.
Both teams are coming off bye weeks, the Warriors (1-3) lost their last outing to Colorado 12-11 in overtime while the Roughnecks (1-2) notched their first win of the season, beating the Las Vegas Desert Dogs 17-11.
The win was Calgary’s first home game of the season, and they had some strong contributions from several players.
Leading the way for the Roughnecks is Victoria-born forward, Jesse King, who had a hat trick and six assists for a nine-point night. King has 23 points (5-18-23) through three games this season and is tied for fourth in the NLL in assists. Delta native Haiden Dickson scored four goals, Thomas Hoggarth and Josh Currier each had two goals. Calgary got singles from Tyler Pace, Dan Taylor, Liam LeClair, Shane Simpson, Seth Van Schepen, and Tanner Cook.
Goalie Christian Del Bianco stopped 34 of 45 shots he faced in the win. The reigning NLL MVP assisted Simpson’s breakaway goal, hitting Simpson right on the money from 150 feet away.
It hasn’t been an easy start to the season for Calgary; their first game of the year, the Roughnecks dropped a tight contest to Rochester 14-13. Pace and Dickson each buried three goals apiece. Their second game, against San Diego, the Roughnecks were scoreless in the fourth quarter and the Seals swam away with a 12-9 victory.
After being on the road for the last two games and dropping a couple of tight contests, the Warriors are looking forward to home-floor advantage on Saturday night. Vancouver will look to disrupt the flow of a Calgary team whose core has been playing together for a number of years.
Forwards Kevin Crowley and Adam Charalambides are leading the Warriors in goals with 10 each through four games and are both in the top-5 for Vancouver in assists. Charalambides currently tops the points table with 21 so far.
The Warriors’ started their last game against the Colorado Mammoth strong, going on a five-goal scoring run, but Colorado scored seven unanswered goals in the second half to swing the momentum in their favor and push the game to overtime and edging Vancouver.
Crowley scored five goals against the Mammoth and Charalambides led all scorers for the Warriors with seven points (3-4-7) and collected 10 loose balls. Riley Loewen, James Rahe and Keegan Bal also scored, and goaltender Aaron Bold stopped 41 shots in the loss.
Vancouver defenceman Matt Beers is tied for second in the NLL for blocked shots with six on the season and overall defence is something Malawsky said has been their strength early in the season.
“In all four games our defence has been great, we’ve kept the shots to the outside for the most part,” Mawlawsky said.
It’s Country Night for the game, so grab your finest cowboy or cowgirl attire and come down to Rogers Arena Saturday, January 13th with first draw at 7 p.m. PT.