Riggers anticipate energy at home

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:52 AM ET

After two emotionally charged, intense road games under playoff-type atmospheres, Calgary Roughnecks captain Tracey Kelusky is happy to be heading home.

The Roughnecks earned an unlikely home post-season game by winning tough tilts on the road against the Arizona Sting Friday and Edmonton Rush Saturday.

Now, the crowd will be on their side Saturday (7:30 p.m., Saddledome) when the Sting visit for the first round of the National Lacrosse League playoffs.

Kelusky said the Roughnecks were able to match the intensity created by the crowds in Glendale and Edmonton but will get extra energy in the 'Dome.

"We talked about that as one of our problems, bringing the emotion to the arena," Kelusky said. "We were making too many mistakes because of it. We minimized the mistakes both nights. With the parity in this league, little mistakes are killer."

Not only does a home date benefit the franchise's bottom line, it gave the Roughnecks an easier road to the Champion's Cup.

Had they lost to the Rush, their first-round destination would have been Denver and a date with the first-place Colorado Mammoth.

Everyone in the Riggers organization is pleased with getting at least one more home tilt this season.

"Our ownership group and fans go to bat for us every year and every game," Kelusky said. "For us to get a playoff date for them, it's huge -- we wanted to reward our fans."

Kelusky is playing well heading into the playoffs with three goals and 10 assists in his last two games.

But the hottest Roughneck right now is goalie Ryan Avery, who picked up both wins over the weekend and stopped 50 of 61 shots in a little less than six quarters of work.

"The defence is doing an awesome job right now," said Avery, quick to deflect the credit.

"They are only giving up outside shots. That's all. The only inside ones they got was on the powerplay.

"There was nothing to worry about five-one-five. If we keep doing that, we'll keep winning games."


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