Rush at Seals Game Notes
Saskatchewan Rush (2-1) at San Diego Seals (1-3)
3:00 PM CST, SUNDAY, JANUARY 12, 2020
PECHANGA ARENA SAN DIEGO
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The Saskatchewan Rush begin the 2020 portion of the season with a trip to Southern California and a Sunday matinee tilt against the San Diego Seals.
After a win in New York right after Christmas, the Rush are coming off a bye week that has just one-half game behind West Division-leading Colorado with a game in-hand. The Seals, who also coming off a bye, ended a season-opening three-game losing streak by beating the Vancouver Warriors 11-10 in overtime. San Diego sits two games behind Colorado.
The Rush and Seals clashed three times during San Diego's inaugural season a year ago, beginning with the Rush's home-opener last January. The two teams combined for 11 first-quarter goals, including three of Ben McIntosh's five goals, before the Rush pulled away for a 16-12 win. McIntosh finished the night with nine points, while Jeff Shattler racked up four goals and Mark Matthews notched two goals and three assists. Connor Robinson and Jordi Jones-Smith (both with their first NLL goal), Curtis Knight, Ryan Keenan and Marty Dinsdale also scored for the Rush. At the other end, Evan Kirk totalled 37 saves.
On March 22nd, the Rush made their first-ever trip to San Diego, but the Seals were unkind hosts as they earned a 13-12 win behind a goal and nine assists for Garrett Billings. Ben McIntosh posted three goals and three assists for the Rush while Adam Shute posted 43 saves. Jeff Shattler, with a pair, Curtis Knight, Robert Church, Ryan Keenan, Mark Matthews, Jeremy Thompson and Matt Hossack also scored for the Rush. The Rush earned measure revenge only three weeks later with a 14-8 win in San Diego that helped them clinch top spot in the West Division. Saskatchewan scored seven goals in the first quarter, including three from Ben McIntosh who wound up with six on the night.
Mark Matthews (2 goals, 4 assists) and Jeff Shattler (5 assists) helped push the Rush attack with Marty Dinsdale adding a pair of goals. Brett Mydske, Mike Messenger, Curtis Knight, and Ryan Keenan also tallied for the Rush and Adam Shute put up 39 saves.
LAST GAME: The Rush used leads of 4-0 after the first quarter and 9-2 at halftime to coast to an 11-4 road win over the expansion New York Riptide. Robert Church paced the Rush with a first-half hat trick while Mark Matthews put up six points on one goal and five assists. Jeff Shattler, Connor Robinson, Holden Garlent (first NLL goal), Marty Dinsdale, Jeremy Thompson, and Ben McIntosh (on a penalty shot) also scored for Saskatchewan. Evan Kirk turned in a terrific outing and finished with 44 saves as the Rush surrendered the second-fewest goals in a game in franchise history.
MILESTONE MINUTE: Ben McIntosh has moved into the fourth spot for assists on the Rush's all-time leaders chart. He has 171 career assists, passing Ryan Ward and now sitting 14 behind Curtis Knight in the third spot.
HELLO AGAIN: There are four former members of the Rush on the Seals' roster this season. Zack Greer came out of retirement and was traded from Colorado to San Diego, while Tor Reinholdt is in the second season in SoCal. Johnny Pearson is a onetime Rush draft pick and Seals captain Brodie Merrill played for the original Rush.
Statistically Speaking: The Rush's Mark Matthews is tied for 11th in league scoring with 16 points and also tied for 12th in the league with 11 assists ... Robert Church of the Rush is tied for 13th in the NLL with seven goals ... San Diego's Wes Berg, who was traded in the off-season after sitting out last season with Calgary, is currently fourth in league scoring with 20 points, tied for seventh with eight goals, and tied for sixth with 12 assists ... The Seals' Connor Fields is also tied for seventh in the league with eight goals ... Rush defenceman Ryan Dilks is tied for fifth in the league with six caused turnovers with teammates Kyle Rubisch and Chris Corbeil right behind tied for sixth with five each. Rubisch is also tied for ninth with 32 loose ball scoops ... The Rush and Seals have the two lowest shooting percentages in the NLL right now. The Rush are 12th at 12.0% with the Seals in 13th at 11.7% ... 2018-29: Last season, the Rush's Mark Matthews finished in a tie for third in the NLL scoring race, knotting Georgia's Lyle Thompson with 105 points. Matthews finished tied for seventh in assists (64) and tied for fourth in goals at 41 with teammate Ben McIntosh ... Jeff Shattler of the Rush led the NLL with five game-winning goals ... Saskatchewan ended the season with the top-ranked power play at 57.4%, scoring 31 goals on 54 power-play opportunities. That was the fewest opportunities in the league - 10 less than Georgia ... Mark Matthews finished tied for seventh with nine power-play goals with Ben McIntosh right behind with eight. Matthews also finished tied for sixth with 17 power-play assists ... The Rush's Jeremy Thompson led the NLL with 208 loose-ball scoops and he wound up third in faceoff wins with 263 ... Rush defenceman Kyle Rubisch was tops in the NLL with 45 caused turnovers.
By the Numbers: The Rush have allowed the fewest goals amongst West Division teams (24), while the Seals have allowed the second-most in the entire league (52). Seals goalie Frank Scigliano has allowed 44 goals ... After giving up just four goals in his last game, Rush goalie Evan Kirk is second in the NLL with a 7.86 goals-against average and is third with a .833 save percentage ... The Rush have the fourth-ranked power play in the NLL at 50.0% (5-for-10) with San Diego right behind in fifth at 44.0% (11-for-25) ... The Rush are ranked 12th on the penalty kill at 45.5% (six goals allowed on 11 power plays). The Seals have the third-best penalty kill at 66.7% ... San Diego has scored three shorthanded goals and allowed three shorthanded goals against ... 2018-19: Saskatchewan won the NLL attendance derby again last season with an average of 13,459 which was 413 better than Buffalo ... The Rush finished the season first in the West with 222 goals. They were third in goals scored per game average with 12.33 and fourth in goals allowed at 11.22 per game ... The Rush ended the regular season with 7-2 record at home and 9-3 versus the West. They were also 9-1 when leading after the first quarter, 10-0 when leading at halftime, 10-0 when leading after three quarters.
RUSH VS. SEALS - SEASON BY SEASON GLANCE
16-12 Rush win (Ben McIntosh racks up nine points on five goals and four assists)
13-12 Seals win (Garrett Billings collects 10 points including nine assists)
14-8 Rush win (Ben McIntosh nets six goals and two assists for an eight-point night)
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