Calgary Stumbles in Banditland 12/6/21

Logos Property of NLL

Marcelo A. Sagüez, Correspondent Calgary Roughnecks
Lacrosse is Awesome©

Featured Image Photo Courtesy of Calgary Roughnecks

It seems like a lifetime since we watched pro Lacrosse and last weekend marked the start of 2021 NLL season. The Calgary Roughnecks (0-1) opened the season in “Banditland” at the KeyBank Center home to the Buffalo Bandits (1-0) without the likes of Dane Dobbie and Rhys Duch who were traded in the off season.  Many new faces to the Riggers line up after 20 months of little or no time on the floor, rust formed and it’ll take a game or two to shake it off. The trades of certain players I consider to have been key members of this Roughneck’s team have left vacant spots in leadership roles and it showed in Saturday night’s game.  Final Score:  Bandits 16—Roughnecks 6.

The first half was identical when looking at the stats sheet.  Each team scored two in the first and five in the second.  The third quarter is when the wheels fell off the Roughnecks offense and it was all Bandits, stealing seven unanswered goals to put the game out of the reach for Calgary.

“You know, we had flashes where we looked really great and then there were other times where we took shots that we shouldn’t be taking and that are uncharacteristic of us. We’re going out and not sticking to our scheme like we should be. We have a lot of new guys on the team that are still figuring things out. There’s lots of room to grow for us.” – Jesse King

Developing the winning team dynamic and cohesiveness will be high on the player’s lists moving forward. Losing this game 16-9 on the road is not part of the game plan, but a necessary step to correcting errors and development.

“At the start of the game we had some real good looks inside. We had a shooting plan and we didn’t really follow the shooting plan early and I thought we gave (Matt) Vinc some confidence early…they were on the power play and we made an error of turning the ball over and it ended up in our net. A couple of breakdowns here and there and the next thing you know they scored four in a row. They went on a seven to nothing run and if you do that, you pretty much put a nail in your own coffin.” – Curt Malawsky

Roughneck’s major contributors were Jesse King (2g, 4a, 11 shots) and Curtis Dickson (4g, 1a, 12 shots).  Rookie Tanner Cook (1g) would also score his first NLL career goal in the contest.

Photo Courtesy of Calgary Roughnecks

The Bandits would see Josh Byrne (4g, 3a); Connor Fields (4g, 1a); Dhane Smith (3g, 6a); and rookie Tehoka Nanticoke (3g) the third-overall pick in the 2021 Draft, score his first NLL career goal.

The seven-time keeper of the year Matt Vinc and the Bandits were out shot 58-49 when it was all said and done.

“We stuck with it. I was proud of the guys that we stuck with it in the fourth quarter. No one quit. But once you put yourself behind the eight ball that bad, it’s really hard to climb out of a hole that deep, especially in an opposing rink.” – Curt Malawsky


Calgary Roughnecks—58 SOG; 33 Saves; 18-29 FO; 2-5 PP
Buffalo Bandits—49 SOG: 49 Saves; 11-29 FO; 1-5 PP


The Calgary Roughnecks (0-1) will head to the Sasktel Centre on Saturday December 11th, to face the Saskatchewan Rush (0-1).  Game time 8:30 p.m. EST.  The game will also be an Alterna Cup game.  It can be seen on ESPN+ in the USA and and the TSN app in Canada.

The Buffalo Bandits (1-0) head over to the Blue Cross Arena on Saturday December 11th to face the Rochester Knighthawks for another battle in New York.  Game time 7:00 p.m. EST.  The game can be seen on ESPN+ in the USA and and the TSN app in Canada.

Marcelo A. Sagüez, Correspondent Calgary Roughnecks
Lacrosse is Awesome©