Rock season on the line

RYAN WOLSTAT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

The schedule may say the Rock has a game next Sunday, but, realistically, a loss tonight in Calgary against the Roughnecks will end its 2008 campaign.

The Rock has lost three consecutive games and finds itself in sixth in the East. Only the top four clubs make the playoffs and the Rock has never missed the post-season.

The Rock played without Bob Watson in a 13-12 overtime loss to Chicago last weekend, but head coach Glenn Clark said the all-star goalkeeper is making the trip with the team and will be a game-time decision.

Watson, who leads the National Lacrosse League with a 9.94 goals against average, practised lightly on his sore ankle on Wednesday -- "nothing close to game action," according to Clark -- but was feeling better yesterday.

Clark is well aware that the Rock's season is on the line, starting tonight.

"It's a pretty simple equation for us," Clark said. "If we want to make the playoffs, we have to win these next two games. If not, we're not going to be in a position to make the post-season."

Besides the playoff implications, the match will also have special significance for Josh Sanderson and Lewis Ratcliff, swapped for each other three weeks ago.

Calgary is 1-1 since acquiring Sanderson, a former NLL scoring leader, from the Rock. Sanderson compiled just three goals and four assists in those games, about half his usual production.

Meanwhile, Ratcliff has been excellent for the Rock with six goals and nine assists, though the club is 0-3 since the deal.

Clark said he expects both Ratcliff and Sanderson to be at the top of their games.

"I'm sure (Ratcliff) and Josh are motivated to show their (former) teams that they made a mistake," he said.

Despite a poor 5-9 record, Calgary still has a great shot at making the playoffs because only one of the West's five teams fail to qualify.

Clark said that discrepancy doesn't bother him.

"It's not something we complain about," he said.

"We got into the playoffs last year with a sub-par record (6-10)."

It will take a lot more than that this time around.


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