Roughnecks goalie battle brews

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:05 PM ET

Looking over your shoulder is not a skill National Lacrosse League goalies have to practise often.

However, Calgary Roughnecks GM Kurt Silcott felt the team's No. 1 netminder, Curtis Palidwor, could do with having to glance in his rearview mirror a little more often.

Believing Palidwor needed to be pushed harder in practice to maintain his starting role, Silcott recently dealt for young goalie Ryan Avery leaving Calgary with the highly unusual position of having three goalies on its 23-man roster.

Andrew Leyshon had served as Palidwor's backup but, according to Silcott, wasn't challenging Palidwor hard enough.

"It's time for the goalies to really focus," said Silcott, whose team had a bye week and practised twice this weekend before returning to the carpet against the Colorado Mammoth next Saturday at the 'Dome.

"I looked at our roster and every week going into every game every guy who dresses really has to be looking over his shoulder at another guy who wants that position; who wants to take his job.

"I think our goaltenders got a little lackadaisical and now that we have three, we know only two dress every week so they better play well in practice and push each other or you'll be the guy on the outside looking in."

Palidwor said he thought Leyshon didn't get the chance to push him but still welcomed the current situation.

"I think it's always good to be pushed," he said. "Every guy has to have a little fear of losing your job. So, I don't think it was a bad move. But, it's not my job to be the GM and make that decision, anyway. It's my job to stop the ball."

Silcott was quick to point out Palidwor has played well for the team this season and the 33-year-old's numbers bore that out. His 9.99 GAA is fourth best in the NLL and his .786 save percentage is fifth. He's played the third-most minutes of any 'tender in the league.

Although Palidwor is having a career season, he has struggled at the 'Dome on occasion and was pulled for a spell in a loss to the Toronto Rock.

On the road, he has been stellar posting a 8.75 GAA in four games.

"Our fans have been a bit down on him because he has had some tough games at home but he's been great on the road," said Silcott. "So, we as a team, are saying we are overall happy with him. His numbers don't lie. He just has to be a bit more consistent."


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