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Rush Game Notes

February 16, 2013 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) Edmonton Rush

'Sock trick' for Matthews as Rush defeat Stealth, 15-10

02/15/2013, 11:30pm EST

By NLL.com

Rookie's six goals helps Edmonton earn first home win in 2013

Rookie phenom Mark Matthews, the first overall pick in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft, scored six goals to lead the Edmonton Rush (2-4) to their first home win with a 15-10 victory over the Washington Stealth (4-4) at Rexall Place on Friday night.

Rush forward Ryan Ward opened the scoring 5:48 into the game as both defenses were strong early on. Matthews scored his first of the night to make it 2-0 midway through the first quarter and Edmonton would never trail in the game. The Stealth tied it 2-2 but the Rush answered with two more goals, the second via Ward's second of the night with nine seconds left, for a 4-2 lead after one quarter.

Matthews scored twice more in the second quarter as Edmonton led 7-3 at halftime. The teams combined for nine goals in the high-scoring third quarter as the Rush widened their lead to 12-7 entering the fourth.

After two more goals by Matthews, Stealth forward Rhys Duch scored twice to cut the deficit to 14-10 with a little over four minutes left, but the margin was too much to overcome.

Duch posted a game-high eight points (4+4) in the losing effort while Matthews finished with seven points (6+1) and Ward had six points (2+4) in the win.

Edmonton outshot Washington 61-34 as Rush goalie Aaron Bold had to make just 24 saves while Stealth netminder Tyler Richards made 46 stops. The 34 shots by the Stealth were the fewest of any NLL team in a game so far this season.

Washington Stealth (4-3) at Edmonton Rush (1-4)~Friday, February 15~7 pmCrystal Glass Field at Rexall Place

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Edmonton Rush at Colorado Mammoth (2-3)~Saturday, February 16~7 pmPepsi Center, Denver, CO

The Edmonton Rush will be out to end their winless stint on their home turf and snap a three-game losing skid as they host the Washington Stealth Friday night and then go on the road Saturday night to meet the Colorado Mammoth.

The Rush have dropped all three of their games so far this season including a 12-10 result to the Stealth. Edmonton has also lost three straight games, and are coming off a hard-fought 9-8 setback against the Calgary Roughnecks this past Saturday.

With the loss to Calgary, the Rush sit last in the National Lacrosse League's West Division. Washington, which topped Colorado 13-6 last weekend, moved into second spot behind Calgary and the Stealth holds a one-game lead in the division over Colorado.

Edmonton's loss to Calgary was the Rush's 12th straight regular-season loss to the Roughnecks. The Rush have beaten the Roughnecks in both playoff games they've faced each other, but have not been victorious against Calgary in regular-season action since 2010.

A tight game throughout, the Roughnecks needed a huge fourth-quarter performance from Curtis Dickson to pull out the win. Dickson scored three of his four goals in the final stanza including the game-winner 39 seconds remaining.

Jarrett Davis led the Rush against Calgary, notching a hat trick which included a pair of power-play markers. Mark Matthews added a pair of goals, both coming in the fourth quarter, with singles going to Curtis Knight, Ryan Dilks, and Ryan Ward, who also chipped in three assists.

The loss to Washington three weeks ago ended the Rush's five-game winning streak against the Stealth, but Edmonton has still won seven of the last eight meetings, highlighted by an 18-10 pounding in Everett earlier this season. In that game, rookie sensation Mark Matthews tied a Rush regular-season team record for points in a game. Matthews netted four goals and added five assists for a nine-point night, and earned himself the NLL's Rookie of the Week award.

Ryan Ward, with a hat trick, and two goals from both Corey Small and Brett Mydske added to the Rush count in Washington, with singles going to Zack Greer, Curtis Knight, Jarrett Toll, Jeff Cornwall, Chris Corbeil, Jarrett Davis, and Jeremy Thompson.

A week later, though, the Stealth turned the tables on the Rush by taking a 12-10 victory at Rexall Place. Corey Small, with a hat trick, Ryan Ward with two, and singles from Alex Turner, Jimmy Quinlan, Mike Burke, Mark Matthews, and Jarrett Davis accounted for the Rush scoring.

The Rush are 8-12 in all-time regular-season meetings against the Washington/San Jose franchise, while the Stealth clutch to the lone playoff victory in the teams' histories - an overtime thriller that sent Washington to the 2010 Champion's Cup final.

Edmonton is 6-13 all-time against Colorado, but the Rush have won three of the last five meetings in Denver including a 14-11 verdict late last season which secured a berth in the Champion's Cup playoffs.

Zack Greer scored twice in that clutch win for the Rush, along with two goals apiece from Steve Toll and Tom Johnson. Aaron Wilson, Chris Corbeil, Ryan Dilks, Ryan Ward, and Jimmy Quinlan rounded out the Rush scoring with Aaron Bold piling up 49 saves.

Colorado had taken both previous matchups during the 2012 season, stealing a win with John Grant Jr.'s winner with only 15 seconds remaining for a 13-12 victory.

Rookie Mark Matthews and Ryan Ward share the team lead in scoring for the Rush with 25 points each. Matthews is tops in goals with 12, while Ward is the leader in assists with 15. Corey Small is third in all three offensive categories including 22 points.

Washington sniper Rhys Duch leads the NLL with 18 goals and is fifth in points with 33. Future Hall of Famer John Grant Jr. is tops in Colorado and second in the league with 17 goals.

Rush vs. Stealth - Season-by-Season Glance

201312-10 Stealth win at Edmonton (Rhys Duch collects two goals and two assists)18-10 Rush win at Washington (Mark Matthews ties team record with nine points)

201210-9 Rush win at Edmonton (Zack Greer paces Rush with four goals)

16-5 Rush win at Washington (Corey Small ties team record with nine-point game)

2011

14-12 Rush win at Edmonton (Scott Evans scores one goal and adds seven loose balls)

15-14 Rush win at Washington (Corey Small notches three goals and three assists)

18-10 Stealth win at Edmonton

2010

15-7 Stealth win at Washington (Lewis Ratcliff scores twice and adds five assists)

14-13 Rush OT win at Edmonton (Gavin Prout connects for seven points including three goals)

14-13 Rush win at Washington (Ryan Ward leads the way with four goals)

*12-11 Stealth OT win at Washington (Paul Rabil notches game-winner eight seconds into OT)

*denotes playoff game - West Division Final

2009

16-6 Stealth win at San Jose (Cam Sedgwick scores four goals and adds two assists)

11-10 Stealth win at San Jose (Jeff Zywicki racks up seven points including three goals)

2008

11-8 Stealth win at Edmonton (Colin Doyle notches four goals and adds two assists)

12-5 Rush win at Edmonton (Jimmy Quinlan picks up the hat trick)

14-6 Stealth win at San Jose (Colin Doyle chips in four assists)

2007

11-9 Stealth win at Edmonton (Jeff Zywicki counts five points including three goals)

14-7 Stealth win at San Jose (Jeff Zywicki notches nine-point game including five goals)

9-8 Stealth win at San Jose (Colin Doyle paces attack with five points)

2006

10-9 Stealth OT win at Edmonton (Jeff Zywicki scores three goals including game-winner)

12-11 Stealth win at San Jose (Jeff Zywicki picks up hat trick plus two assists)

Rush vs. Mammoth - Season-by-Season Glance

201214-11 Rush win at Colorado (Zack leads Rush with two goals and one assist) 11-7 Mammoth win at Colorado (Adam Jones, John Grant Jr. and Jordan McBride all notch hat tricks) 13-12 Mammoth win at Edmonton (John Grant Jr. leads with five goals and four assists)

201113-6 Mammoth win at Edmonton 14-13 Rush win at Edmonton (Scott Evans leads the way with four goals and two assists) 7-6 Mammoth win at Colorado (John Grant notches two goals and two assists)

201014-13 Rush win at Colorado (Ryan Ward scores four goals and adds three assists) 13-9 Rush win at Colorado (Ryan Ward notches hat trick plus four assists) 14-10 Mammoth win at Edmonton (Jamie Shewchuk collects nine points including four goals)

200911-9 Rush win at Colorado (Ryan Benesch has eight-point night featuring five assists) 10-9 Rush win at Edmonton (Callum Crawford nets four goals and adds two assists) 10-9 Mammoth win at Colorado (Jamie Shewchuk scores twice and adds two assists)

200814-11 Mammoth win at Colorado (Dan Carey pots hat trick plus three assists) 15-4 Mammoth win at Colorado (Jamie Shewchuk scores four goals and adds three assists) 13-8 Mammoth win at Edmonton (Jamie Shewchuk has second straight seven-point game)

200716-9 Mammoth win at Edmonton (Jamie Shewchuk notches hat trick plus two assists) 16-7 Mammoth win at Colorado (Dan Carey leads with two goals and three assists)

200615-10 Mammoth win at Colorado (Dan Stroup collects six points including hat trick) 13-7 Mammoth win at Edmonton (Ben Prepchuk racks up six points including four helpers)

Statistically Speaking: With his four-point game against Calgary, Ryan Ward has assumed top spot on the Rush's all-time scoring list with 214 points, moving just ahead of original Rush member and team captain Jimmy Quinlan Edmonton has scored a league-low 60 goals but the Rush also have the league's best goals-against at only 59 The Rush have outscored their opponents 17-12 in first-quarter play this season Edmonton has dominated its opposition 50-28 in forced turnovers, but the opponents have racked up more loose balls (318-308) With his hat trick against Calgary, Jarrett Davis doubled up his goal total to six on the year Speedster Jeremy Thompson moved into the Rush lead with loose balls with 32, one up on Kyle Rubisch and three ahead of Chris Corbeil Kyle Rubisch leads the Rush in penalty minutes but more importantly is tops with nine forced turnovers. Brett Mydske is next with seven forced turnovers followed by Chris Corbeil at five The Rush are glad to see the end of Calgary faceoff king Geoff Snider after back-to-back games. Jeremy Thompson sits at 30-for-98 (30.6%) in faceoffs with Jarrett Toll next at 14-for-37 (37.8%) Washington netminder leads the NLL with a paltry 10.01 goals-against average and sits fourth in both wins (three) and saves (208) Colorado's John Grant Jr. leads the NLL with nine power-play goals.

By The Numbers: Rush netminder Aaron Bold has been pulled in three straight games, giving way to Brodie MacDonald who has managed an 8.92 goals-against average and a .743 save-percentage in his appearances. Bold has gone from first to fifth in goals-against average, which now stands at 11.78 The Rush went a mere 2-for-7 against Calgary on the power play and it now stands at 50.0% on the season, while the penalty kill is at a 47.1% clip This weekend's double-dip against Washington and Colorado is the first of two back-to-back weekends for the team this season. The Rush play in Buffalo on March 23 and then visit Toronto on March 24 The game with Washington wraps up the season set against the Stealth, and Edmonton will host Colorado on April 6 With Michael Cudmore playing in Calgary last weekend, the Rush have now debuted four rookies in 2013 (Mark Matthews, Curtis Knight and Michael Burke) The Rush are 1-3 vs. West Division foes this season. Washington has gone 3-2 in division play while Colorado is 2-3 Washington's Bob Snider is the league-leader with 129 faceoff wins and is second with 84 loose balls Washington is dominating the forced turnovers category in the NLL with Kyle Sorensen first (16), Tyler Garrison third (10), and Matt Beers fourth (nine) Stealth's rugged duo of Matt Beers (30) and Mike Grimes (19) are second and fourth, respectively among league-leaders in penalty minutes.

KEENAN'S KORNER

Quotes from the Rush GM/Head Coach

"I don't know if it's getting up for them or just coincidence but we have played well there. It's a pretty good atmosphere in their arena and I think the guys get fired up."

- Keenan on the Rush's recent success playing in Colorado

"(Jarrett) Davis gets better every game and is understanding the offense better every game. He's a 100% buy-in guy and works extremely hard. When players have that type of attitude and compete level eventually good things happen."

- Keenan on the improved play of Rush forward Jarrett Davis

These are the weekends that can make or break an entire season in the National Lacrosse League.

With action on back-to-back nights and a stint of travel in between, the Edmonton Rush are hoping their first doubleheader weekend of the 2013 schedule is a fruitful one. The Rush definitely would like to come away with two clutch victories this weekend, and if they are able to, it would serve two gigantic purposes.

A win in Friday night's tilt against the Washington Stealth on the Crystal Glass Field at Rexall Place would give the Rush their first home victory of the season. If they're able to come away from Saturday's venture at the Pepsi Center in Denver with a win over the Colorado Mammoth, the Rush would climb right back into the thick of things in the NLL's West Division and go a long ways to balancing out their record against divisional foes.

It's no small task turning the trick on back-to-back nights, but the challenge is one the Rush are up for.

First assignment - shoot down the Stealth ...

"A win at home is important for a lot of reasons," offered Rush GM/Head Coach Derek Keenan. "First and foremost we are 1-4 and need to turn this around now and we owe it to our fans and the organization to win at home. We've not been great at Rexall and that has to change."

Edmonton's lone win so far this season came against Stealth but on the road in Everett. A week later, the Stealth rebounded from the shellacking and upset the Rush at Rexall Place. Setbacks to Toronto and Calgary have compiled the Rush's home-floor woes.

"We need to put the whole package together for 60 minutes to get the first win at home," added Keenan. "We've played well in spurts but need to be consistent."

Second task - maul the Mammoth

"It's important the players eat as soon as possible after the first game of a back-to-back and also quickly replenish fluids," Keenan said. "We depart real early in the morning (Saturday) so trying to get sleep is important but not always easy to settle in after a game. Typically the guys will get caught up on sleep when they arrive early in Denver."

And with some food, fluid, and rest, the Rush will be look for a critical win on the Mammoth's home turf - a place they've had a surprising amount success in the past couple seasons.

The Rush's off- and on-season training regimen comes into play along with the injection of youthful enthusiasm that comes from a strong batch rookies like Mark Matthews and Curtis Knight plus pre-season acquisitions like the suddenly surging duo of Jeremy Thompson and Jarrett Davis.

"For the guys that are in the lineup two games in a row they are usually motivated one way or another - either they're coming off a big win or a tough loss," added Keenan.

"The young legs do help, but I think our fitness and conditioning are good overall so we just have to deal with the travel and the altitude and take care of our bodies."

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