The end of the winter semester is coming fast. I was thinking of things that I had never done in Calgary before leaving for the summer, when I got the opportunity to go see the Calgary Roughnecks play lacrosse. Although this is one of our national sports, not only have I never seen a game, I have never played so I was unfamiliar with the rules. I thought this might take away from my enjoyment of the game, but I decided to go and see what the National Lacrosse League had to offer.
I got to the Pengrowth Saddledome and was surprised to see how many people were there. They announced an attendance of over 13,000 rowdy fans and I was thrilled to be one of them.
The first quarter was intense. Both teams played hard, but the goalies stood on their heads and kept the score at 3-1 for the visiting and aptly-named Colorado Mammoth. Between quarters, fans were treated to a dance routine by the Drill Crew, and if you weren't into the game yet, you definitely were after that. The second quarter was a different story as the Mammoth opened up a 10-3 lead going into halftime.
The second half really got the crowd into the game as the Roughnecks fought back to make a game of it. Calgary ended up losing 14-11, but despite the loss, it was one of the most entertaining professional games I have ever attended.
Among the highlights was the constant music blasting from the speakers throughout the game, louder when Calgary controlled the ball, softer when they were on defense. I loved the fast pace, brutal action, an announcer who incites the crowd to join in mocking opponents who miss breakaway shots and, of course, the Drill Crew.
Friday, April 11, the Roughnecks play their final regular season game against the league-leading Buffalo Bandits. A playoff spot is on the line for the 'Necks, and if you have never seen a game, don't deny yourself this opportunity. If you have--I'll see you there.