After game one of the NLL Finals last weekend the Calgary Roughnecks hold a 1-0 lead over the Buffalo Bandits. This weekend the Roughnecks could win the series in game two, which is in Calgary.
In game one goalie Christian Del Bianco and forward Dane Dobbie were the two leaders for Calgary, helping to secure the win. Del Bianco was an absolute brick wall with a save percentage of .872, making 48 saves off of 55 shots on goal.
With Del Bianco being the lifeblood of the Calgary defense, Dobbie was the same for their offense in game one of the finals. Doobie tallied 6 points (3G,3A). Rhys Duch also gave Calgary a big boost on offense with 4 points (2G,2A) in the win.
After winning game one 10-7 in Buffalo and turning on the switch in the second half, offensively, game two will take place in Calgary, and the Roughnecks looks to have every bit of an advantage as you can have. They have the energy coming off the win and could win the series, thus capturing their third championship as a franchise, first since 2009.
Calgary does have a 1-0 lead and they are playing at home but fans shouldn’t automatically pencil them in as champions just yet. There are some “keys to the game” that Calgary will need to follow in order to win this game. Buffalo will most likely step things up a ton on both ends, trying to get clicking earlier than the fourth. Again, this could be a goalie battle or an offensive shootout.
For Calgary to win game two and earn the title as 2019 NLL champions they will likely need to get their offense going earlier and continue to rattle the Buffalo offense with great goalie play from Del Bianco as they did last week.
The Roughnecks offense was good in the second half last game but couldn’t get much going in the first half with the play of Matt Vinc in goal for Buffalo. The Roughnecks will need to get their offense clicking earlier in game two, jumping out to an early lead like we have seen them do all season.
Part of getting clicking earlier is getting more guys involved. Last game it was basically the Dane Dobbie and Rhys Duch show. While those two can certainly carry a team it is crucial that guys like Curtis Dickson, Jesse King, and others get more involved than they did last week. Getting more guys involved and having an “everybody eats” mentality will be key if they want to attack this Buffalo defense hard and get out to a bigger lead earlier in the game, not allowing a low scoring game in the first half.
Now the Roughnecks will also need their defense to step up again if they want any chance at winning game two and capturing the NLL championship. This is a great Buffalo offense that can get clicking just as fast as anyone else in the league with Shawn Evans, Corey Small, and others leading the way like they have been all season.
Christian Del Bianco is expected to have a similar outing to last weeks game where he had a save percentage of .872. Del Bianco is the x-factor for this Roughnecks team and can single handedly change the course of a game, getting the juices flowing throughout the arena after making insane saves. If Del Bianco plays like he did last week this Roughnecks team has a very good shot and winning .
Calgary has the energy and home floor advantage on their side coming into this game. They need to put it all together for full sixty minutes if they want to take down this fiery Buffalo Bandits squad. Both sides will certainly bring their A game on Saturday. No matter if it’s an offensive battle or defensive battle it will certainly be a good one.