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Rush Play Rivals On Neutral Floor

December 12, 2008 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Edmonton Rush News Release

Edmonton, AB--The Edmonton Rush's preparations for the 2009 National Lacrosse League season push forward in a big way this weekend.

In addition to drills and workouts, the Rush will take on the arch-rival Calgary Roughnecks in an exhibition game as the NLL's Battle of Alberta will be fought on neutral ground inside the Enmax Centre in Red Deer. Game time on Saturday night is 7:30 p.m.

"Without a doubt our most exciting games of the season are always against the Roughnecks and even though it is an exhibition game I'm sure the intensity and emotions will be as high as ever," said Rush President Duane Vienneau.

The Rush head into the pre-season matchup with team chemistry and continuity as important factors. With just one weekend of training camp remaining and only four weeks to go before the regular season begins, there is little time to waste when it comes to finding the right combinations and fits for the lineup.

GM/Head Coach Bob Hamley has already had to make some difficult decisions regarding his potential roster. Among the most-recent cuts were 2008 draft pick Kelly Kilpatrick, original Rush members Randy Daly and Peter Gut, and Cam Bergman, the Rush's representative in the 2006 NLL All-Star Game. Also let go this week was goaltender Curtis Palidwor, who earned the club's MVP award in 2007.

"It was not an easy thing to do releasing Curtis after his tremendous service to the Rush but it was time to move in another direction with our goaltending," noted Hamley. "We have three very good goalies with us in Steve Dietrich, Chris Levis and Brandon Atherton and they are all prepared to carry the load."

Hamley has come away impressed to date with a number of faces in Rush camp. Of late, one of the standouts has been Tyler Gibbons, who was recently signed to a two-year contract. A free-agent signing by the Rush, Gibbons has previously spent time with San Jose and Toronto and was originally a second-round pick of the Rock in the 2005 NLL Entry Draft. The six-foot, 175-pounder spent the last two summer seasons playing for Owen Sound in the Ontario Lacrosse Association.

"Tyler is a very solid player in the transition with the ability to score on the break and also be a valuable commodity in the defensive end," added Hamley.

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