'Necks going all out

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

Tracey Kelusky summed it up best earlier this week when he said talk is cheap, it's time for action.

The Calgary Roughnecks captain first voiced the frustrations of his team and then conveyed a promise from the club saying fans "will see a different team this weekend."

Different from the club that has looked at times disorganized, disheveled and disinterested during a 3-3 start to the National Lacrosse League season.

After a week off, the Roughnecks host the 0-6 Edmonton Rush tonight (Saddledome, 7:30 p.m.) before travelling to Arizona to face the 3-2 West Division leading Sting tomorrow.

Kelusky is one of the public faces of the club but Roughnecks forward Lewis Ratcliff reinforced the players are looking to make a statement this weekend with their play.

"I haven't been this excited for a game since the beginning of the year," said Ratcliff. "Our three home games have been pretty bad, especially the last two. The powerplay has been awful and the offence has been out of synch. We have to put a full game together and show (the fans) what we can do and hope they leave the building happy and we end up happy with how we played before we go to Arizona for a big game there."

At 3-3, all the recent doom-and-gloom talk might appear somewhat of an overreaction.

However, the Roughnecks were pegged as a favourite to win the West Division after assembling the best top-to-bottom roster in the five-year history of the franchise.

All three of Calgary's wins have come against expansion teams (Edmonton twice and Portland) while its three loses (vs. Toronto, Minnesota and Arizona) have been by a combined score of 37-28.

The team's vaunted offence has struggled mightily averaging only 10.5 goals a game, the club's powerplay has been described by head coach Chris Hall as "horrendous" and its transition game has provided little in terms of goals.

CHICAGO JOINS: The NLL has awarded a franchise to Chicago for the 2007 season. The Chicago team becomes the league's 12th franchise, and will play its home games at the Sears Centre, a new indoor arena in the northwest suburb of Hoffman Estates.


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