They were the two most dominating victories in Calgary Roughnecks' history. They were victories that ended up punching the Riggers' ticket to the playoffs and, ultimately, their first championship win.
The Riggers hammered the Arizona Sting 15-6 at the Saddledome and 14-4 on the road last year, propelling Calgary to a 10-6 record and third-place finish in the west.
The Sting finished fourth in the west at 7-9. Quick math tells you had Calgary lost those two games, Arizona would have made the post-season soiree with a 9-7 record while the Roughnecks would have finished 8-8.
"You always have to beat teams within your division," said Calgary forward Kaleb Toth, whose club hosts the Sting tonight (7:30 p.m., 'Dome). "The season is so short in lacrosse that if you don't beat the teams in your division, you won't make the playoffs. We were fortunate enough to beat them twice last year -- handily -- but this is a whole different year and they're a different team."
A different team, maybe, but the memories of those two lopsided losses still linger.
"I think that will probably be in the back of their minds," agreed Arizona head coach Bob Hamley. "You don't forget those."
The 14-4 shellacking occurred at the Glendale Arena in front of the Sting's home fans. Calgary led 8-0 at the half -- the first time in franchise history they had held an opponent scoreless in a half. The four goals against tied an NLL regular-season record.
Still, that was last year.
"I think on any given night we could go out and beat them by five or six goals but at the same time, they could come out and beat us by five or six goals," said Calgary transition man Devan Wray. "Are we confident we can go out and control the pace of the game and win the way that we did last year? Sure. Are we expecting to? Not at all."