Sunday’s game took place at an unusual time for a National Lacrosse League Game; the Roughnecks game was early afternoon at 2 p.m. for their Family Day celebrations.
The Roughnecks and the Rock are both in second place in their respective conferences, and the Roughnecks were looking for this win to tie with the Saskatchewan Rush (4-2 record). Instead, the Roughnecks are now third in the league following the 10-7 loss on Sunday.
The team’s lack of goals tied their all-time low for goals in a first half – which was also against the Rock on Apr. 2, 2010. Head coach, Curt Malawsky, blames this on the team’s lack of motivation in the beginning of the game and that once they finally began to get into a groove, it was too late.
“We talk about that urgency and we have to play with that urgency,” says Malawsky.
The team’s struggles came in the beginning half of the game, trailing behind 5-2 before half time.
“It’s tough in this league when you get down. When you’re down that many goals it’s tough to battle back.”
Malawsky tried to focus on the more positive aspects of the game saying, “Our offence tried to play a little more selfish.” Forward Curtis Dickson scored five of the seven Roughneck goals.
Starting goaltender Frank Scigliano was pulled during the game for an extra attacker and later switched with goaltender Christian Del Bianco.
“I don’t think it was Frank’s [Scigliano] fault,” says Malawsky. “I pulled him out because we needed a change in there. We just ran out of gas and Christian had to go in and he was great.”
Sunday’s loss proved to be disappointing for the entire team. Roughnecks forward Jeff Shattler explains that Toronto’s goalie, Nick Rose, as well as the team’s strong defense, had a lot to do with the outcome of the game.
“These guys – the three games that they’ve won they’ve had five-goal leads so their defense played well. It wasn’t for lack of chances, we just couldn’t score, and Rose, he had a good game. He’s a good goalie.”
The Roughnecks confidence was starting to grow in the fourth quarter but, unfortunately, they couldn’t pull out a win.
“We started getting confidence late in the game but, you know, it was a little too late and it’s too bad that we had the start we did,” says Shattler.
Defenseman Dan MacRae couldn’t ignore the effort that the Rock put forth during Sunday’s game.
“I thought they were playing a good game plan as far as playing to their strengths and putting us into our bad spots and pressuring us.”
Since the upsetting loss, the Roughnecks have managed to slip to last place in their conference. Despite having one of the league’s top scorers, Curtis Dickson, the team continues to struggle early in the season and hopes to find motivation before it’s too late.