Rock, Roughnecks should get rough

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

There will be a lot of tired and bruised bodies when the Rock and Calgary Roughnecks complete a home-and-home series this weekend.

The two National Lacrosse League teams -- who have been known to save some of their most physical play for each other -- tangle tonight at the Pengrowth Saddledome, before meeting again less than 24 hours later at the Air Canada Centre.

Rock assistant coach Greg Van Sickle said fans shouldn't expect to see a tea party on either night.

"Calgary is a physical team to begin with and the back-to-back will heat things up," he said.

The two squads split the season series last year with the Rock winning 14-10 in Cowtown in one of its best performances of the year before falling 11-9 at the ACC in one of its worst.

Though the Rock has dominated the all-time series, winning eight of 11 matchups, the team will have its hands full with the explosive Roughnecks, who average almost 14 goals a night, the third-best mark in the 13-team NLL.

Calgary coach Chris Hall said the matchup of Canada's most successful franchises -- Calgary won the Champions Cup in 2004, while the Rock has won five times -- is now about national pride.

"Toronto has been a marquee franchise for many years and we were fortunate enough to win as well," Hall said.

"It's an Eastern versus Western Canada rivalry that has developed between two very good lacrosse teams."

The Rock is coming off an exciting 11-10 victory over the Chicago Shamrox and looking to push its winning streak to four games tonight.

Calgary, despite adding 10 new faces in the off-season, got off to an impressive 4-1 start, but has faltered recently, dropping two in a row.

The league announced yesterday that forwards Aaron Wilson and Josh Sanderson will represent the Rock as reserves at next month's all-star game in Portland, Ore. Wilson leads the club with 15 goals and 42 loose balls.

Sanderson's selection to the game was a mild surprise, considering he has collected 27 points this season while teammate Blaine Manning has 36.


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