Fright night at 'Dome

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:21 AM ET

They'll be wearing lacrosse helmets, not old hockey masks, but the Calgary Roughnecks plan to make tonight's Friday the 13th tilt a horror show for the Edmonton Rush.

The Riggers open their fifth National Lacrosse League campaign against the 0-1 expansion Rush (7:30 p.m., Saddledome) looking to teach the upstart club a lesson, according to many of Calgary's players.

A week of trash talking -- particularly by Rush owner Bruce Urban -- as well as ads in Calgary papers warning the Roughnecks that Edmonton will feed them a can of whoop a-- tonight, has many Riggers eager to teach their new provincial rivals a lesson .

"They've been talking a lot of trash -- particularly their owner," said Roughneck forward Kaleb Toth, a born-and-bred Calgary boy. "And, you know what, I give him a lot of credit. It's pretty ballsy for an expansion team to do all that. But, now they have to put action where their mouth is.

"We're an experienced team now, not an expansion team, and they're going to have to work really hard even to come close to us."

Calgary went 10-6 last season despite a severely depleted roster plagued by major injuries. That record was good for the club's first West Division regular-season title and a first-round playoff bye.

The club tanked in the West final, losing to the Arizona Sting. However, this season they boast the deepest, most-talented roster in club history and Toth said they don't plan to hold back should they get a sizable lead against the Rush.

"Definitely not," he said. "We want to beat them by more than just a couple of goals. We think we have a team capable of that. We just can't get overconfident. And hey, if they bring the rough stuff we have tough guys that can take care of that."

Calgary defender Devan Wray -- an Edmonton native -- echoed Toth's sentiments.

"I don't think we should hold back at all," said Wray. "Whether we're up by two or five. You have to keep doing the stuff that makes you successful. Regardless of whether it's our first or 10th game or who it's against, we're not going to hold anything back."

The Rush have eight players on its 23-man roster who have been either property of, played for or were drafted by the Roughnecks. The Riggers feature a pair of Edmonton-grown stars in Devan and his younger brother Taylor Wray as well as three Calgarians in Jason Wulder, Andrew Biers and Toth.

The first installment of the Battle of Alberta will be just one of many plot lines in tonight's tilt but it promises to be one of the biggest.

"I'm real familiar with most of their team," said Devan Wray. "We all are, really. They have a lot of talent. Maybe not a lot of proven talent but a lot of guys who are looking to make names for themselves in this league. They have a lot to prove. But, so do we."


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