The Edmonton Rush sat at home and found out they were going on the road for their first playoff game.
The Calgary Roughnecks couldn’t be happier to break hearts in the City of Champions.
With a 11-10 victory Friday over the Colorado Mammoth, the Riggers get to host the National Lacrosse League playoff version of the Battle of Alberta Saturday at the Saddledome (1 p.m.).
It’s the first post-season meeting between the provincial rivals, and the Roughnecks don’t want to make history as the Rush’s first victim.
“It couldn’t happen to a nicer group of guys to have to come down to Calgary and play us,” said Riggers head coach Dave Pym. “We’re going to come loaded for bear.
“It’s the playoffs, and we’re starting to elevate our game. We didn’t make as many mistakes this past game.”
The Riggers (10-6) have a decided edge in the all-time series that began with the Rush inception in 2005. In
16 meetings, the Riggers have won 12 of them, including two of three this season.
Included was a Riggers’
15-14 overtime win two weeks ago in Edmonton.
“As it is in this league, it’s a one-goal scenario,” Pym said. “It’s probably going to be a tight game. I would like to get some breathing room, obviously, and get up by a few. We did that to them earlier in Calgary (for a 13-8 win Feb. 8).”
The defending NLL champions have an edge when it comes to playoff experience.
Although the Rush have plenty of players who went through playoff wars with other teams, this is the first time this group heads in together.
“It’s a bit of a learning curve to get there,” Pym said. “If you haven’t experienced it as a group, it’s that much harder in my opinion.”