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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Calgary Roughnecks return acquainted lineup for 2023-24 NLL season Specific Instances

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Calgary membership believes there’s extra offence within the offing after close to run to league ultimate

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If it ain’t broke, don’t repair it. So the one low season adjustment the Calgary Roughnecks made was the one compelled upon them.

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That was bringing in a brand new teaching employees, when Curt Malawsky took his game-smarts to the West Coast. In any other case, there was really no have to deliberately alter the lineup for the 2023-24 Nationwide Lacrosse League season.

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Particularly after the Roughnecks rolled to a unbelievable 13-5 report earlier than falling wanting the NLL ultimate by a merely a objective.

“We wish to construct off final yr,” mentioned new head coach Josh Sanderson, embracing the efficiency of the 2022-23 Riggers regardless that he wasn’t a part of the membership. “They’d an important yr, attending to the ultimate 4.

“Clearly, we’d wish to go additional. However we would like attempt to construct off of that and simply get higher from it, as a result of I feel they set a superb commonplace that we are able to construct off. We’re going to have a strong crew.”

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That quest to bump up their success begins Saturday evening of their season opener — towards the host Rochester Knighthawks in Upstate New York (5 p.m., TSN+) — as a part of the NLL’s Faceoff Weekend 2023.

And the Roughnecks — to a person — are believing they’ve obtained the personnel to make that run on the Nationwide Lacrosse League Cup.

“Yearly right here, the objective is the championship — and that’s what we’re on the lookout for once more,” mentioned Roughnecks assistant coach Eli Salama. “Clearly, final yr was a tough one — a tricky tablet to swallow. However towards the Colorado Mammoth, we had been proper there with them in what was form of a one-bounce-this-way, one-bounce-that-way (semifinal) sequence.

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“After which when you understand the Buffalo Bandits had been in a position to win the NLL Cup, I feel most of us within the room felt that we in all probability may have had perhaps a little bit bit higher of an opportunity at it. Clearly, hindsight is 20/20, and also you’re allowed to suppose no matter you wish to suppose, proper? However I feel championships are all the time what’s the objective.”

With that, they wade into the battle to the ultimate — and hopefully on to triumph — returning an analogous squad from final season …

Forwards (8): Tanner Prepare dinner, Josh Currier, Haiden Dickson, Thomas Hoggarth, Jesse King, Tyler Tempo, Dan Taylor, Thomas Vela

Defenders (11): Reece Callies, Zach Currier, Jeff Cornwall, Justin Inacio, Liam LeClair, Harrison Matsuoka, Kieran McKay, Eli Salama, Shane Simpson, Ethan Ticehurst, Seth Van Schepen

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Goaltenders (2): Christian Del Bianco, Adam Bland

Observe Participant Listing (3): F Riley Isaacs, D Bennett Smith, G Steve Fryer

Injured Reserve Listing (3): F Logan Schuss, F Clay Scanlan, D Robert Hudson

Three names are new to the lively roster — Hoggarth, Vela and Inacio.

Hoggarth is taken into account the Riggers’ prized pick-up of the low season after him and younger Vela had been collected in the course of the 2023 NLL Draft again in September. The Roughnecks traded ahead Kyle Waters and a pair of picks in that pick-em — the sixteenth and thirty fifth selections total — to the Rochester Knighthawks for the 2 gifted forwards.

“Thomas Hoggarth is a 30-goal scorer — he’s obtained candy arms inside,” mentioned Roughnecks GM Mike Board of the 28-year-old NLL journeyman, who’s netted 84 targets in his final three campaigns. “Thomas, we predict. is a superb match, an important athlete. We expect that he provides one other menace for us.

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“And Thomas Vela is a very younger child with a variety of potential that shoots the ball properly,” continued Board of the 21-year-old second rounder in 2022. “He’s obtained a superb IQ.

“So we’re wanting ahead to see what they will do.”

Specifically, Board, Sanderson and new assistant coaches Troy Cordingley and Phil Sanderson are hoping the 2 former Knighthawks — particularly Hoggarth — might help increase the offensive totals of the Roughnecks.

The mostly-by-committee assault of the crew final yr noticed simply captain Jesse King — with 42 targets — and then-sophomore Tanner Prepare dinner — with 32 tallies — crack the 25-goal mark.

Solely two different Riggers counted 20, though offensive catalyst Tyler Tempo — with 24 — was restricted in his appearances. Haiden Dickson — with a 22-goal 2023 marketing campaign — enters this yr with confidence after sniping 53 and incomes co-MVP honours within the Western Lacrosse Affiliation in Senior A lacrosse over the summer season.

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“I feel we’ve extra goal-scoring in us,” confirmed Board. “What we realized was that the extra guys you might have that may put the ball within the internet, the higher alternative you might have. In that three-game sequence we misplaced to Colorado, take away the empty-net objective and we had been separated by basically one objective. Is {that a} cross-bar? Is {that a} missed alternative on an influence play?

“We expect there’s a little bit extra firepower in our offence this yr that may assist out.”

The 25-year-old Inacio, a defenceman drafted by the membership tenth total in 2021, spent final yr with the Roughnecks on the injured listing after a torn ACL suffered earlier than coaching camp shelved him.

Two different key low season acquisitions are left-shooting Schuss up entrance and lefty Hudson on the back-end. However each start the 18-game schedule on the sidelines — the veteran Schuss because of each a torn ACL and MCL that ended his eight-year run with the Vancouver Stealth/Warriors, and sizy 26-year-old Hudson due to an upper-body harm.

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“Logan is a veteran presence and a man that has been across the league for 10 or 11 years who can nonetheless contribute,” mentioned Board of the 32-year-old Schuss. “Joyful to get him on board.

“With Robert, we’re a crew that everyone is aware of we’re constructing from the goalie out, so we are able to’t have sufficient of these good strong defenders who can run the ball,” continued Board of a defender he acquired from the Georgia Swarm for the thirtieth choose within the 2023 NLL Draft and the second-round choice in 2025. “So a man like Robert suits in there.

“And we drafted Bennett Smith, who’s similar to Robert — he’s a sensible, younger participant. Nice athletes — each of them.”

Smith was the Roughnecks’ first-round choice — eleventh total — within the 2023 draft, after a star-studded NCAA profession with the Queen’s College of Charlotte Royals.

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Riley Isaacs, an area ahead drafted within the sixth spherical this yr by the Riggers, and goalie Steve Fryer, who was launched from the Warriors early final season, spherical out the three-man apply squad.

And Clay Scanlan, a 2019 second-round choose of the Halifax Thunderbirds, is sidelined with an upper-body harm.

“We had a really aggressive camp and had some robust choices to make, however we’re excited for the upcoming season and hope to get off to a superb begin this weekend in Rochester,” added Sanderson. “The fellows are able to work exhausting, put in that robust effort that they’ve been all camp and simply maintain that going for the common season.”

QUICK STICKS

Three regulars from final yr’s roster have moved on: T Mitch Wilde, a veteran with the Riggers since 2017, signed a three-year contract with the New York Riptide within the low season; F Zach Herreweyers was launched by the Roughnecks; and D Curtis Manning retired after a stellar 13-year, 197-game NLL profession — all with the Riggers … T Zach Currier replaces Manning within the crew’s official management group, having been honoured with assistant captain’s standing becoming a member of fellow alternate Salama and captain King. “It was a straightforward selection this yr, with (King, Salama and Currier) already being unbelievable leaders on and off the ground,” Sanderson mentioned. “They’ve been good for us since Day 1, and they also’ll we carrying the letters for us this season.” … The Roughnecks performed three pre-season video games — two scrimmages in Vancouver in mid-November, and final week’s 14-12 exhibition win over the Saskatchewan Rush 14-12 final Saturday evening in Moose Jaw, Sask. … The Riggers’ home-opener isn’t till Saturday, Dec. 30, when the Las Vegas Desert Canine go to WestJet Discipline at Scotiabank Saddledome.

tsaelhof@postmedia.com

http://www.twitter.com/ToddSaelhofPM

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