Perfect fit

DARREN FRIESEN, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Adjusting to a new team always takes some time. But with only 16 games in the regular season and a province or two usually dividing teammates on a week-to-week basis, working on team camaraderie can be difficult.

That's why it's up to the players to make the most of their time together.

It's something newly acquired Calgary Roughnecks forward Chris Gill knows all too well.

"We're all starting to fit in a little more," said Gill, who was picked up along with defenders Andy Ogilvie and Rob Williams after the demise of the Vancouver Ravens franchise.

"I think tonight's going to be a big step," he added before the Roughnecks lost 12-10 to San Jose. "The chemistry thing is unbelievable.

"When you play junior lacrosse, everyone's tight but on the senior teams you don't get to see each other as much as we'd like but we're already gelling in the dressing room, so that will come out on the floor at the same time."

Calgary lacrosse fans got their first look at the 2005 squad last night but unfortunately it was in a losing cause.

But the night was still a big one for the Roughnecks, who celebrated last season's Champion's Cup victory with a pre-game banner raising.

In addition, all the players will receive their championship rings from Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier and NLL commissioner Jim Jennings.

Not receiving a ring, obviously, will be Gill and the rest of the new Riggers. However, Gill is excited for his teammates.

"It's good for these guys, they deserve it," said the Gill, who turned 32 last night. "I kind of wish I was getting ring but if I can't have one I'm happy these guys are getting it."

After last night's loss, the Riggers fell to 0-2 on the season after also dropping their opener to the Colorado Mammoth last weekend in Denver.

The Stealth also did a lot of player swapping in the off-season. One of those key summer acquisitions was F Steve Toll of Oshawa, Ont. Toll, a one-time teammate of Roughnecks assistant captain Kaleb Toth in Toronto, can sympathize with Gill on infiltrating a new team chemistry.

"It's a lot different because on the Rock we only had one American playing for us and now I'm with like 10 of them," said Toll yesterday before the morning shoot-around.

"Growing up in Canada you don't really like the Americans but now that you're playing with them you've got to like them, so it's a little different that way but we've got a good group of guys here."

Last weekend's 12-7 loss to Colorado really showed the lack of chemistry on the floor by the Roughnecks.

According to Gill, the loss was messy; however, there's no need to push the panic button just yet.

"We played a good team but no one feels like we played up to our capability," explained Gill.

"Our offence was stagnant, our defence played well, our faceoffs were great and our goalie played good.

"We just didn't put it together all at the same time."

The Riggers travel to San Jose tonight, completing the home-and-home series. Game time is 8:30 p.m. Both teams know how important this weekend series is because of the short season and the implications it may have down the road.


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