After dropping their last game, the Toronto Rock will be looking to get back in the win column at the hands of the Calgary Roughnecks
After a six-game winning streak, the Toronto Rock had their run snapped by the New England Black Wolves in February. After a few weeks off, they’ll be looking to get back in the win column when they travel to the Scotiabank Saddledome to face the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday night.
The Roughnecks currently sit in third place in the West Division standings at 5-6. They’ve lost their last two games to the top two teams in each respective division – the Buffalo Bandits and Saskatchewan Rush.
For the Rock, they need the win in order to maintain their spot in the East Division standings – a staggering statement considering that they were the best team in the league just weeks ago. The Buffalo Bandits have jumped the Rock for first place in the division and now hold a 1.5 game lead over them. The New England Black Wolves and Georgia Swarm are also nipping at the heels of the Rock. With the loss, Toronto could fall to fourth in the division.
Despite the high stakes in the standings, the Rock would still comfortably hold that final playoff spot. Both the Rochester Knighthawks and Philadelphia Wings sit with just two wins apiece and would need to go on massive runs down the stretch to have a chance at the postseason.
The two Canadian foes faced off once last season, with Calgary taking the matchup in Toronto. In the all-time matchup between the two teams, the Rock hold the advantage with a 22-13 record. They’re also 10-7 all-time at the Saddledome.
Players to watch
Captain America has been nothing short of great for the Rock this season. He’s posted 19 goals and 53 points. The third-year man has spearheaded the Toronto attack this year. He does everything, including grabbing loose balls.
Hellyer and Schreiber are still gaining chemistry, and that’s a scary premise for opposing teams. He’s second on the team in scoring but is tied with Adam Jones for the team lead in goals. Teams have a difficult time shutting down all the Rock’s weapons. If Calgary puts an emphasis on Schreiber, Hellyer will make them pay.
Jones had a slower start to the campaign but has been able to get the shots to start falling as of late. He’s the biggest catch-and-shoot threat on the Rock. If he’s on, he’s on. Jones is no stranger to facing West Division competition. The Rock will be hoping for a big game out of their star lefty.
Lintner posted a goal and an assist in the Rock’s last game against New England. He’s had a solid season, posting 2.5 points per game. With limited touches, while sharing a side of the floor with the team’s top two scorers, the righty had made the most of the chances he’s gotten.
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There’s a reason Dickson has earned the nickname “Superman.” He has the ability to make a jaw-dropping play on each and every possession. He missed the first four games of the season due to a contract dispute with the Roughnecks but has posted 16 goals and 34 points in seven games since his return.
Dobbie currently sits sixth in league scoring with 65 points in 11 games. He’s on pace for 106 points, which would shatter his previous best of 90. He’s nearly a lock for 30 goals a year and always finds a way to burn the Rock. Expect another big performance.
The veteran forward is in his first season with Calgary after signing as a free agent this past offseason. He’s on pace to have just under 80 points this year. The 32-year-old Duch is providing a great tertiary option on offence in the wake of Wes Berg’s contract holdout.
Christian Del Bianco
It’s not too often that a goaltender would be featured as a player to watch, but Del Bianco is one of the pillars for Calgary’s success. Last season, the backstop stoned the Rock, making 47 saves while only allowing eight goals. He’s got an 11.09 goals-against average and a .780 save percentage this season. Del Bianco is one of the league’s best and could steal a game for the Riggers if he gets in a rhythm.