Sniper flies under radar

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

When the Calgary Roughnecks come up in conversation, the most common names you're likely to hear are Kaleb Toth and Tracey Kelusky.

That suits Lewis Ratcliff just fine.

The Roughnecks' leading sniper the past three years has no qualms with flying under the public relations radar as long as opposing defences give him the respect he believes he's earned.

"I think I'm getting a little more recognition now than I have been getting in the past," said Ratcliff, who posted a career high 91 points in 2006. "I don't feel like I should be getting more recognition, though. It's year to year, right? If I go out there and don't play well, then it changes everything.

"I'm still one of the younger guys on a team with a lot of vets. I don't say a whole lot. I just try to do my talking with my play on the floor."

Ratcliff, 25, will enter his fifth season in Riggers' silks when the Roughnecks host the San Jose Stealth tomorrow night (7:30 p.m., Saddledome).

As one of the returning veterans to a Roughnecks lineup welcoming a lot of new faces this year, Ratcliff doesn't feel any added pressure to take on a leadership role.

"We've got great leaders," he said. "Tracey's the best captain that I've ever played for and we've got a lot of guys who have been around a long time.

"I don't think leadership is what the team needs from me. I think it's more just to go out there and do my job and keep quiet."

Whether Ratcliff can repeat as the Riggers' leading scorer remains to be seen. However, the Victoria native believes in the changes GM Kurt Silcott's off-season moves.

"I think we look good. We are young and fast and that's good because that's what the league's going towards," he said. "We're going to be solid but that doesn't mean anything if you lose in the playoffs."


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