Roughnecks' radar love

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

If the Calgary Roughnecks were looking to spin positives out of their meeting with the San Jose Stealth, they wouldn't struggle with it.

The Stealth have a 2-6 road record heading into the Saddledome tonight to face the National Lacrosse League's best team.

The Roughnecks face off against the Stealth in the West Division final with a 2-0 mark against them this season.

And when the Riggers won their only Champion's Cup in 2004, they went through Colorado and San Jose before hosting the title game.

Coming off a 15-8 win over the Mammoth a week ago, the Riggers must be feeling good about themselves now.

Is history repeating?

"Those records don't have any more significance to this game," said Riggers forward Kaleb Toth. "The year we won it, we didn't have a great record and snuck into the playoffs.

"We had to win games on the road, then people starting saying our home record isn't as good as our road record and we can't win at home. We ended up beating Buffalo at home.

"Records don't have much to do with it. It's about who comes to play. We have four quarters to prove we're a better team than them."

There are a few things the Stealth could hang their hats on if they chose to, as well.

The Roughnecks had a better road record this season (7-1) than they did at the Saddledome (5-3), and last week was the first home playoff win since 2004.

Also, those two losses to the Riggers came way back in January. Since then, the Stealth have changed coaches (Jeff Dowling to Chris Hall) and goaltenders (now starting is Tyler Richards).

Captain Colin Doyle has also heated up, and he's coming off a nine-point game a week ago in Portland.

So he could argue the 2-6 road record from the regular season has improved.

"I throw that out the window. I know we won our last road game and that's what counts the most," Doyle said.

"It will come down to who wants it the most. We are 0-2 against them, but those games came in January. They are a different team now and so are we. You never know what to expect but they can expect something different than we were in late January. I'm sure they know that."

The Stealth got into a shootout with the LumberJax in the first round, running up an 18-10 lead before holding out for a 20-16 victory.

It should be a different scenario against the Riggers, who finished with the best goals-against in the NLL.

"I don't imagine that will be our game plan," Doyle said about getting into a run-and-gun game. "If we get 20, we have a good shot to win, but if we cut their guys loose, 25 is probably a number they could reach.

"Our game plan will be pretty straight forward and we hope our offence can keep clicking. Defensively, they will be a handful for our guys."

Although the Riggers have the home crowd on their side, it might be a wash. The Stealth averaged 4,129 fans this season, so their players are dying to play in a packed barn, even if they are the enemy.

"That team might get just as pumped up if the crowd is wild," said Riggers forward Josh Sanderson.

"We played there the first game this season and there weren't a lot of people there."

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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