Shattler won't bring schtick

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

Jeff Shattler will stick with his old tricks.

The Calgary Roughnecks transition ace was crowned the National Lacrosse League's top trick-shot artist at last weekend's all-star festivities in Denver, but don't expect any funny business if Shattler is sprung for a breakaway tonight when the Riggers face the Edmonton Rush at Rexall Place (7 p.m., nll.com, FAN 960).

"To tell you the truth, I think my coach would kill me if I ever tried that in a game," Shattler said. "I stay away from that. I just come down and shoot, pick a corner and maybe one fake, but that's about it. None of that trick stuff."

Like a slam-dunk competition in basketball, the NLL's trick-shot showdown featured all sorts of over-the-top tactics. Boston Blazers star Dan Dawson potted a goal from the back of a go-cart, while Buffalo Bandits sniper Mark Steenhuis disguised himself as Wooly, mascot for the hometown Colorado Mammoth.

Shattler, who made his first attempt while jumping over Colin Doyle of the San Jose Stealth, secured his skills competition victory when Dawson missed in the finale.

He can save the gimmicks, but the Roughnecks (6-2) would undoubtedly like to see Shattler light the lamp more often. While his competitors in the trick-shot showcase -- Steenhuis, Dawson and Doyle -- are 1-2-3 on the NLL scoring charts, the Riggers lefty has a modest five goals and six assists in eight outings.

Shattler has scored in four of the past five tilts, but he's also seen several breakaway attempts foiled. The speedy 24-year-old is gunning to fill the net in the second half, starting tonight against the Rush (3-6) in the second instalment of the NLL's Battle of Alberta.

"This second half, I'm really concentrating on working on my stick, getting the balls in the net," Shattler said. "I've gotta start producing a lot more. You know what? The chances I get are phenomenal and I'm only capitalizing once a game, which is not good enough. We're still winning games, which is good. But those two games we lost by one goal, all I needed to do was capitalize on one more goal and my team would have been tied up.

"I'm really concentrating on cracking down and getting more goals."

The last time the Roughnecks and Rush hooked up, the host Riggers needed overtime to eke out a 10-9 victory.

The provincial rivals are stuck at opposite ends of the West Division standings, but Roughnecks captain Tracey Kelusky warns the Rush are no push-overs.

"They're a sleeping giant," Kelusky said. "They can come awake at any time. I think they're a good team -- in no way is their record indicative of that club they have."

The Riggers and Rush split a pair of dates at Rexall Place last season. Calgary will pay another visit to Edmonton next month.


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