Roll out the green carpet

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:02 PM ET

Some members of the Calgary Roughnecks gathered around a computer last night to watch a lacrosse game, and they are Jaxed up about the result.

Thanks to the Portland LumberJax winning 18-16 last night against the San Jose Stealth, the Roughnecks will host them in a National Lacrosse League playoff tilt Saturday night at the Saddledome (7:30 p.m.).

The Riggers beat the Colorado Mammoth 15-13 Saturday night in Denver, then returned home yesterday to find out their second-round destination.

So Devan Wray, Andrew McBride, Jeff Shattler, Alex Coutts and brothers Mike and Scott Carnegie fired up the computer and watched it together.

"As soon as the game was over, the guys all started getting text messages to roll out the green carpet for at least one more time," said Wray. "Nobody was counting on this when the playoffs started.

"We just figured if we took care of business, we'll see what happens in San Jose. Fortunately for us, the city of Calgary and our fans, it all worked out."

It was a wild game yesterday with the LumberJax battling back from an early five-goal deficit to tie it up by the end of the third quarter.

Former Roughneck Brad MacDonald scored the winner with just under three minutes left, while Calgary killer Dan Dawson scored seven times (12 points) as the 6-10 Jax knocked off the division-leading Stealth.

So as pumped as Roughnecks head coach Troy Cordingley is to reward Calgary fans with another outing, he knows they have to refocus on Dawson and the Jax.

"Seven goals in a playoff game is pretty outstanding," said Cordingley, who followed the results on the Internet scoresheet.

"We know Dawson's a phenomenal ball player, and we have our work cut out for us to try and slow that down."

In the opening round of the NLL playoffs, the road team went 3-1, a fact the Roughnecks are trying to ignore. However, they were one of those road teams and feel they can win anywhere right now.

"It's a tough league and it's so close, you never know what can happen," said Roughnecks forward Scott Ranger.

"It usually doesn't matter where we're playing, but we'll sure take advantage of being at home."

The Roughnecks had a 2-1 record against the LumberJax this season, with both of those victories coming at the Saddledome. Calgary pounded the LumberJax 13-6 Jan. 26 and 15-12 March 8, but lost 13-9 Feb. 22 in Portland.

All those matchups were before the Jax made a late-season trade with Edmonton to get goalie Matt Disher, who faced 62 shots yesterday in the win.

But the Roughnecks are planning on using the crowd as their sixth man and are hoping a lack of other sporting distractions in the city will help sell out the building.

"Unfortunately, there's a big void in Calgary right now with the Hitmen and Flames out of the playoffs," said Wray.

"That being said, we would love to take advantage of that and pack as many people as possible into the Saddledome."


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