Carnegie excelling for Riggers

IAN BUSBY, Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:02 PM ET

A year ago, Scott Carnegie wouldn’t have felt comfortable taking a game off for any reason.

At that point, the second-year Calgary Roughnecks defender wouldn’t be sure he would get back into the lineup, even if healthy.

This season, the Riggers really struggled without the 24-year-old.

With Carnegie out last week due to lingering concussion symptoms, the Roughnecks were beaten 17-13 by the Minnesota Swarm in an overall poor defensive effort.

Carnegie, whose brother Mike is also a steady defender, will return to action Friday night against the Toronto Rock at the Air Canada Centre (5:30 p.m.).

“The coaches said my spot is going to be there,” Carnegie said about sitting out to get 100%. “They have told me I’ve been having a better season.

“Last year, I felt I couldn’t screw up or I wouldn’t be in the lineup. This year, I’m trying to make plays and trying to be part of something.”

Before missing last week, Carnegie has suited up in every Riggers game this season, and he has earned high praise from head coach Dave Pym.

The London, Ont., product was sat three times in 2009, but there wasn’t any consideration of that this year.

“He’s been our best defender this year,” Pym said. “I told him that. He’s been a huge part of our success. It will be great to get him back. It was a huge loss to us.”

With a lineup shuffle last week — Nolan Heavenor and Jeff Shattler moved to offence and Devan Wray, Peter McFetridge and Craig Gelsvik were added — the defence struggled against the Swarm.

There were several instances where shooters were wide open by the crease as goalies Mike Poulin and Matt King were hung out to dry.

“Matt and Mike didn’t have their greatest games against the Swarm, but we had too many system breakdowns,” Pym said. “We had four turnovers on the offensive end that went for goals. Ten of those goals were preventable and we have to better with that.”

Carnegie hopes he can help right the ship against the Rock, a team with plenty of speed on offence.

“My game is trying to make the other defenders better,” Carnegie said. “I’m a young guy but I’ve been with this system for probably the longest.

“I like to talk a ton and maybe that communication is probably what we were missing a bit.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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