\'Necks have Mammoth edge

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 6:17 AM ET

On paper, it\'s the perfect scenario for the Calgary Roughnecks.

When the 8-6 Riggers host the 7-7 Colorado Mammoth tomorrow night (7:30 p.m.), a lot will be on the line for both squads as they make a push for the National Lacrosse League playoffs.

A win over the Mammoth and a loss by the Columbus Landsharks to the Vancouver Ravens will guarantee the Roughnecks one of three post-season wild-card berths.

As for Colorado, they need the win to keep pace with a pack of teams fighting for the last of the three get-in free spots.

However, the odds will clearly be in Calgary\'s favour when they take to the carpet. The Riggers are 5-1 at the Saddledome this season while the Mammoth are a lowly 1-5 on the road.

Calgary hasn\'t lost here since Jan. 17 when it fell 13-10 to the Toronto Rock. Since then, the Riggers won four straight, including last weekend\'s 26-16 pummelling of the Ottawa Rebel.

Meanwhile, Colorado finally won its first road game of the year March 23, a close 18-17 victory over the New Jersey Storm, one of the league\'s worst squads.

Ask any Roughnecks player and they\'ll tell you how the Saddledome crowds this year have been like a seventh man. Averaging almost 11,000 per tilt, it\'s clear the Roughnecks play like an entirely different squad in front of the home-town faithful.

\"This is great for us ending the season at home,\" said Riggers forward Kaleb Toth of tomorrow\'s tilt and April 11\'s season ender against Buffalo.

\"Especially against (the Mammoth). They\'ve struggled when they leave their building and we\'ve been good here at home so it works to our advantage for sure.\"

Toth said the there\'s no real secret to why the team plays so much better in the confines of home.

\"It\'s that much more comfortable for us,\" said Toth. \"When the fans are cheering for you, it helps a lot. You get up for that. And playing at home we\'re on our schedule, not theirs. We get to the rink early and if we want to go out (and shoot around) early, we can. It\'s up to us.\"

Mammoth captain Gary Gait, who with 54 goals is only three short of the NLL record for goals in a season (which he set back in 1998), acknowledges the cards are stacked against his team.

\"Things haven\'t gone well for us this year,\" said Gait. \"We\'ve been trying to problem solve all year on the road.

\"But we know what we\'re capable of. We just have to get up and actually do it. We just have to forget about the past and just show up ready to play.\"

QUICK STICKS: Six members of the Mammoth along with six members of the Albany Attack were suspended yesterday for their part in a brawl during a game March 28. Offensive stars Ted Dowling and rookie standout Brian Langtry along with Bryan Cole, Bryan Reese, Tom Still and Rory Graham have all been handed one-game suspensions. The team has 72 hours to appeal the suspensions -- meaning all six players will likely be in the lineup tomorrow night ... Team Canada named the final six runners to its squad yesterday for the upcoming world indoor lacrosse championships slated for this May. Roughnecks Jesse Phillips and Rob Kirkby were in the running for the final spots but didn\'t get the nod. Calgary forwards Kaleb Toth and Tracey Kelusky were named to the squad earlier this season.


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