Rush vs. Knighthawks Game Notes
Saskatchewan Rush (2-1) vs. Rochester Knighthawks (1-2)
7:30PM | Saturday, January 19, 2019
Co-op Field at SaskTel Centre | Saskatoon, SK
Watch | B/R Live
Listen | 92.9 The Bull
Official Pre- Gand Post-Game Party | Shoeless Joe's
The Saskatchewan Rush will look to extend their winning streak to three games in a rematch of last year's NLL Cup Final as they take on the Rochester Knighthawks.
With a 14-10 win in Vancouver last weekend, the Rush picked up their second straight victory, while the Knighthawks lost their second in a row falling 12-10 in the San Diego Seals' home-opener. The Rush and Knighthawks battled to the best-of-three limit last spring in the league championship series with the Rush wining the decisive game on their home turf to claim their third NLL title in the past four seasons.
Jeff Shattler scored four goals in Game 3 of the NLL Cup and was named playoff MVP for his efforts. Chris Corbeil netted a hat trick with Ryan Keenan, Marty Dinsdale, and Ben McIntosh each adding a pair. McIntosh's game-winner came 2:08 into the fourth quarter.
Saskatchewan won Game 1 of the NLL Cup 16-10 in Saskatoon behind a natural hat trick from Robert Church that came in a span of 3:03 and included a shorthanded tally. Ryan Keenan also had a hat trick, Ben McIntosh and Jeff Cornwall both had a pair, and singles went to Matt Hossack, Mike Messenger, Mark Matthews, Marty Dinsdale, and Jeremy Thompson. Evan Kirk, who made a number of sensational saves in the first half, finished with 35 stops.
Game 2 in Rochester, the Knighthawks scored five straight in the second quarter and used that to propel them to a 13-8 win. Jeff Shattler led the Rush with a six-point effort (3 goals, 3 assists), while Ryan Keenan added a pair of goals, and singles came from Robert Church, Ben McIntosh, and Daw Dawson.
Rochester was the only team to beat the Rush twice during the 2018 regular season which snapped a nine-game losing streak to their West rivals. On their home turf, the Knighthawks outscored the Rush 5-2 in the fourth quarter to register a 16-11 victory. Mark Matthews and Ben McIntosh each posted hat tricks in the loss with singles going to Mike Messenger, Robert Church, Ryan Dilks, Ryan Keenan, and Jeremy Thompson. The defeat also brought to an end Saskatchewan's six-game road winning streak.
Five weeks later, the Knighthawks were able to hold off a late rally by the Rush to rack up a 13-11 win in Saskatoon. Robert Church had four goals for the Rush, while Ben McIntosh had a pair, and Chris Corbeil, Mark Matthews, Jeff Shattler, and Ryan Keenan had one goal apiece.
A year earlier, the Rush whipped the Knighthawks twice- 16-8 in Saskatchewan's home-opener and then 21-12 in Rochester. In the two wins, Mark Matthews totaled 21 points on eight goals and 13 assists while Robert Church notched seven goals.
The Rush jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in Vancouver last weekend, chasing Warriors starting goaltender Aaron Bold after four goals in just over three minutes. The resilient Warriors hung in much of the way until the Rush's fourth-quarter surge allowed the visitors to pull away. Ben McIntosh led the Rush with his second straight five-goal game with Mark Matthews adding a pair of goals and five assists. Marty Dinsdale and Jeff Shattler each scored twice, Curtis Knight, Ryan Keenan, and Jeremy Thompson added a goal each, and Robert Church, who was back after missing a game due to injury, chipped in six assists.
HISTORY LESSON: The Rush have enjoyed some history-making outings against the Rochester Knighthawks. In 2014, the Rush beat the K-Hawks twice during their record-setting 14-0 start to the season. Then in 2015, the Rush beat Rochester 16-3 which is tied for the club's all-time largest margin of victory in a game. They equaled that 13-goal bulge in the 2018 home-opener in a 24-11 victory over New England.
BUILDING DYNASTIES: Save for the Georgia Swarm's 2017 league title, the Rush and Knighthawks have dominated the NLL championship scene for the better part of this decade. Rochester is the only team to win three straight titles as they captured the Cup in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Their reign ended with the Rush winning back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016, and then again in 2018. The Rush lost the 2012 Cup final to Rochester, and the Knighthawks came up short in the final in 1999, 2000, and 2003.
Statistically Speaking: With two straight five-goal games to his credit, the Rush's Ben McIntosh is second in the league with 13 goals and eighth in scoring with 23 points. The Rush sniper is also tied for second with four power-play goals and he leads all players with more than five goals with a 35.1 shooting percentage (13 goals on 37 shots). This current run has moved McIntosh into second place in the NLL's Three-Star Award race with 10 points (2 x First Star) ... Reigning league MVP Mark Matthews is tied for eighth with 14 assists and tied for second in power-play assists with six ... Reigning NLL Cup MVP Jeff Shattler is tied for 12th with eight goals and tied for fifth in power-play goals with three ... Rush veteran Jeremy Thompson became only the fourth player in NLL history to reach 1,500 regular-season faceoff wins last weekend. He is 54-for-82 on the year, currently with the third-most faceoff wins in the NLL. The Rush are second in the league with a 63.6% faceoff win percentage. Thompson also leads the NLL with 49 loose ball scoops ... Rush captain Chris Corbeil is tied for 11th with six caused turnovers ... 2018 Playoffs: For the third time in his career, the Rush's Mark Matthews finished on top of NLL playoff scoring with 22 points. He also led all playoff performers with 19 assists and two game-winning goals ... Ben McIntosh of the Rush finished in a tie for third in playoff scoring with 18 points and ended up fourth with 10 assists ... Saskatchewan's Robert Church and Jeff Shattler finished tied for fourth with 15 points, but Shattler's efforts over the final two games of the NLL Cup were what garnered him the Playoff MVP award ... 2018 Regular Season: Rush star Mark Matthews completed the regular season in style as he set a new NLL record for assists in a single season with 84, and captured the league scoring title with 116 points, which also broke his own team record for points in a season. Matthews led the NLL with 33 power-play assists and was tied for the league-lead with three game-winning goals ... The Rush's Robert Church finished second in league scoring with 107 points and tied for second in the league with 47 goals, one up on teammate Ben McIntosh. Church also finished sixth with 60 assists ... Saskatchewan finished the regular season with the top-ranked power play at 67.8% (59-for-87). Robert Church, Ben McIntosh and Ryan Keenan all tied for third in the league with 14 power-play goals, and Church also finished second with 27 power-play assists ... The Rush finished with the fifth-ranked penalty kill at 52.8% with eight shorthanded goals ... Rush goalie Evan Kirk led the league with 12 wins and finished with the second-best goals-against average at 10.82. He also had the fourth-best save-percentage at .777 ... Saskatchewan finished with a league-best 19.9% shooting percentage. Rush captain Chris Corbeil ranked fourth at 38.9% (7 goals on 18 shots).
By the Numbers: The Rush hold an all-time regular-season record of 11-3 against Rochester. They are tied 2-2 in playoff games and 1-1 in Cup Final series ... The Rush power play is tops in the NLL at an astonishing 75.0% (9-for-12). The team's penalty kill is ranked eighth at 50.0% (7 kills in 14 shorthanded situations). Rochester is tied for second on the penalty kill at 66.7% (12 kills in 18 shorthanded situations) but the K-Hawks power play is down to 10th at just 33.3% (6-for-18) ... The Rush are ranked second with an average of 13.67 goals per game, and are tied for fourth with 11.33 goals allowed per game. The Knighthawks have scored a league-low 27 goals and are 11th with just 9.00 goals per game, but tied with the Rush in goals allowed ... The Rush and Knighthawks are surprisingly amongst the league-leaders in penalties per game. Saskatchewan is at 12.00 per game and Rochester is at 12.33 per game ... Saskatchewan is currently third in team shooting percentage at 18.3% ... 2018 Playoffs: Rush goalie Evan Kirk wrapped up the playoffs tied for the league lead in wins with three. He placed second in both minutes played (238) and total saves (145), and was ranked third in save percentage (.767) ... The post-season was a notable one for the Rush's Matt Hossack as he finished tied for second amongst defencemen with five points and was second with two goals. Hossack also placed fourth in shooting percentage at ... 2018 Regular Season: Saskatchewan won the NLL's attendance derby with an average of 14,639 - 458 better than Buffalo. The Rush finished the season 6-3 on their home turf ... The Rush led the NLL with 254 goals scored and just 196 goals allowed. Saskatchewan topped the league with 14.11 goals scored per game and 10.89 goals allowed per game. Rochester finished third in both goals scored per game (13.11) and goals allowed per game (11.67) ... The Rush's Mark Matthews, Ryan Keenan and Robert Church all finished the regular season with 18-game assist streaks ... Jeremy Thompson of the Rush finished second in the league with 164 loose balls and fourth in faceoff wins with 234 ... Rush defenceman Kyle Rubisch finished seventh with 25 caused turnovers and 10th with 130 loose balls ... Saskatchewan was the only team in the league with three players in the top 10 of the Three Star Award voting. Robert Church was fifth with 26 points (3 x First Star, 3 x Second Star, 2 x Second Star), Mark Matthews was sixth with 24 points (3 x First Star, 2 x Second Star, 3 x Third Star), and Evan Kirk was eighth with 21 points (3 x First Star, 2 x Second Star) ... The Rush outscored their opposition 62-30 in first-quarter play ... The Rush were 12-2 when leading after the first quarter, 13-1 when leading at halftime, 13-1 when leading after three, and 11-0 when outshooting their opponents.
Rush vs. Knighthawks -Season-by-Season Glance
*15-10 Rush win (Jeff Shattler scores four goals and earns NLL Cup MVP honors)
*13-8 Knighthawks win (Matt Vinc registers 47 saves and Josh Currier notches four goals)
*16-9 Rush win (Robert Church scores four goals, including natural hat trick in second quarter)
13-10 Knighthawks win (Austin Shanks powers the offence with five goals)
16-11 Knighthawks win (Cody Jamieson registers seven points including a hat trick)
*Denotes playoff game - Champion's Cup Final
21-12 Rush win (Robert Church and Mark Matthews combine for eight goals and 13 assists)
16-8 Rush win (Mark Matthews notches 11 points including four goals)
13-9 Rush win (Zack Greer scored five goals and Mark Matthews notched seven points)
11-8 Rush win (Mark Matthews and Ben McIntosh both with two goals and two assists)
16-3 Rush win (Mark Matthews and Robert Church both register seven points)
15-11 Rush win (Mark Matthews and Curtis Knight each with six-point games)
8-7 OT Rush win (Mark Matthews scores overtime winner)
14-10 Rush win (Zack Greer racks up four goals and four assists)
11-9 Rush win (Zack Greer paces Rush attack with four goals)
*9-6 Knighthawks win (Cody Jamieson racks up eight points including four goals)
?*Denotes playoff game - Champion's Cup Final
13-9 Knighthawks win (Mike Accursi scores four goals against former club)
12-11 Rush OT win (Andy Secore completes hat trick with game-winner)
10-9 Rush OT win (Jimmy Quinlan scores twice and adds three assists)
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