Rush vs. Roughnecks Game Notes

May 12, 2018 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Saskatchewan Rush News Release

NLL Cup West Division Final - Saskatchewan Rush vs. Calgary Roughnecks

5:00PM, Sunday May 13th 2018

SaskTel Centre, Saskatoon SK

Watch: Twitter, NLL TV

Listen: 98 COOL

For the fifth time in their storied rivalry, the Saskatchewan Rush will meet the Calgary Roughnecks in the National Lacrosse League playoffs.

The two-time champion Rush enter the one-game, winner-take-all West Division Final with a sizeable advantage in playoff history against the Roughnecks, having won four of the five series and holding a 7-3 record in games. Calgary does enter the West Final with a bit of momentum coming off a 15-12 upset win over Colorado this past Saturday in the West Semi-Final. The winner of Saskatchewan-Calgary West Final will move on to the best-of-three NLL Cup Final against the winner of the East Division Final between the reigning league champion Georgia Swarm and the Rochester Knighthawks.

The Rush have also won 11 of the past 12 regular-season games against the Roughnecks, including the second season-series sweep in the past three years as they went 3-0 against Calgary in 2018. That 3-0 mark against the Roughnecks helped the Rush go a perfect 10-0 against West Division rivals this season, marking the first time a team has gone undefeated against its division rivals in the NLL's 18-game season era. Mark Matthews helped Saskatchewan complete the season-series sweep just two weeks ago as he registered six assists setting a new NLL single-season record with 84 assists on the way to the Rush's 11-10 victory. Back on January 27th, Ben McIntosh scored his second goal of the game 46 seconds into overtime to lift the Rush to a 13-12 win despite a furious second-half comeback by the Roughnecks. On February 24th, the teams clashed in Saskatoon with the Rush coming away with a 10-6 win behind 37 saves from Evan Kirk.

The Rush playoff success over the Roughnecks started in 2010 season. The two teams met in the West Semifinal and the defending league champion Roughnecks were heavy favorites, but the Rush got a nine-point game from Ryan Ward plus a record-setting performance from goalie Matt Disher (most saves in a playoff game with 60) as they registered an 11-7 win in Calgary. Two seasons later and Calgary was favored again in the West Semifinal but Ward set a Rush playoff record with 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) as the Rush captured a 19-11 road victory.

The prairie rivals finally squared off in a playoff series in the 2014 post-season, and this time the Roughnecks managed to come out on top. After the winning the opening game in overtime, the Roughnecks lost Game 2 and then needed a deciding 10-minute mini-game to take the series and they did with a 2-1 win. One year later, the Rush exacted a measure of revenge in the playoffs. Ben McIntosh gave the Rush a 1-0 series lead when he scored the game-winner with 2:10 left in regulation to lift the Rush to a 10-8 win. Calgary bounced back to with Game 2 by a 12-9 count, which forced the mini-game for a second straight season. In the mini-game, it was a stellar individual effort from Jeff Cornwall that provd to be the difference as he scored on an unassisted breakaway opportunity and the Rush went on to a 4-1 win. The Rush would use that series win to propel themselves into the Champion's Cup Final where they would defeat Toronto in two straight to claim their first NLL title.

For a third straight season, the Rush and Roughnecks met in playoff action, but the Rush made short of their opposition in the 2016 West Final. Game 1 was knotted 8-8 at halftime and then the Rush exploded, outscoring the Roughnecks on their own turf in Calgary 8-2 in the fourth quarter to take the opener 16-10. The Rush returned home for their first-ever playoff game in Saskatoon and they didn't disappoint a sold-out crowd at SaskTel Centre as Zack Greer scored four goals and Mark Matthews notched five assists in a 12-9 victory for Saskatchewan. The Rush used that series win to jump into the league final where they dropped the Buffalo Bandits to claim their second consecutive Champion's Cup.

Rush vs. Roughnecks - Head-to-Head 2018

Saskatchewan Calgary

Mark Matthews - 6 goals, 12 assists Curtis Dickson - 10 goals, 5 assists

Robert Church - 2 goals, 9 assists Dane Dobbie - 3 goals, 14 assists

Ben McIntosh - 7 goals, 5 assists Holden Cattoni - 5 goals, 8 assists

Evan Kirk - 3 wins, 122 saves Christian Del Bianco - 0 wins, 103 saves

Statistically Speaking: 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 alongside Calgary's Curtis Dickson 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 ... Calgary's Dane Dobbie led the NLL with 16 power-play goals but had just the fifth-ranked power play at 46.5%. The Roughnecks had the third-ranked penalty kill at 53.2% and led the NLL with 15 shorthanded goals including a league-high five from Curtis Dickson ... 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 ... Calgary goalie Christian Del Bianco led the NLL in goals-against average (10.50) and save-percentage (.793) ... Saskatchewan finished with a league-best 19.9% shooting percentage. Rush captain Chris Corbeil ranked fourth at 38.9% (7 goals on 18 shots) and fellow transition Adrian Sorichetti was 10th at 31.8% (7 goals on 22 shots) ... Calgary defenceman Mitch Wilde finished third amongst defencemen in points (25) and goals (11) ... 2017: Saskatchewan's Mark Matthews finished second in league scoring last season as he 113 points left him just three behind Georgia's Lyle Thompson. Matthews had 73 assists to lead the league and break his own franchise record ... The Rush's Robert Church cracked the NLL's top-20 scoring last season with 77 points, and for the second straight season, Church led the NLL in power-play goals. After scoring 17 on the man-advantage in 2016, Church notched 21 goals on the power play in last season.

By the Numbers: Saskatchewan won the NLL's attendance derby with an average of 14,639 - 458 better than Buffalo. Calgary came in fourth. The Rush finished the season 6-3 on their home turf, while Calgary was 3-6 on the road ... 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. Calgary ranked fifth with 12.61 goals scored and fourth with 11.72 goals allowed ... 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. Calgary's Zach Currier led the NLL with 200 loose balls and teammate Tyler Burton was second in faceoff wins with 236 ... Rush defenceman Kyle Rubisch finished seventh with 25 caused turnovers and 10th with 130 loose balls ... Calgary's Curtis Dickson finished second in the league Three Star Award voting with 28 points (5 x First Star, 1 x Second Star, 2 x Second Star). Saskatchewan was the only team in the league with three players in the top 10. 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, while the Roughnecks were outscored 58-44 in firsts ... 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 ... The Roughnecks were 8-1 when leading after three, but 2-8 when trailing after one and 0-8 when trailing after three ... 2017: Mark Matthews was named to the NLL's First Team All-Pro following last season, while teammate Mike Messenger earned a spot on the All-Rookie Team.

Rush vs. Roughnecks - Season-by-Season Glance


11-10 Rush (Mark Matthews registers six helpers to set new NLL single-season assist record)

10-6 Rush win (Mark Matthews records seven points including a hat trick)

13-12 OT Rush win (Ben McIntosh scores second of the game 46 seconds into overtime)


14-7 Roughnecks win (Frankie Scigliano compiles 53 saves)

13-10 Rush win (Mark Matthews racks up seven points including five assists)

12-11 OT Rush win (Robert Church and Ben McIntosh each post hat tricks)

15-11 Rush win (Robert Church and Ben McIntosh each collect six points)


*12-9 Rush win (Mark Matthews totals seven points including five assists)

*16-10 Rush win (Ben McIntosh fires in four goals)

11-9 Rush win (Mark Matthews racks up six points including hat trick)

12-11 OT Rush win (Robert Church registers six points including hat trick)

19-12 Rush win (Zack Greer sets club record with seven goals including five in a row)

10-8 Rush win (Robert Church and Mark Matthews both registered two goals and three assists)

*denotes playoff game


*4-1 Rush win (Jeff Cornwall scored series-winning goal with unassisted marker)

*12-9 Roughnecks win (Shawn Evans recorded seven points including three goals)

*10-8 Rush win (Mark Matthews racked up seven points including a hat trick)

11-9 Rush win (Mark Matthews & Robert Church both with five-point games)

9-8 Roughnecks win (Curtis Dickson pots four goals including game-winner)

12-11 OT Roughnecks win (Daryl Veltman scores four goals including game-winner in OT)

16-8 Rush win (Mark Matthews registers eight points including hat trick)

*denotes playoff game


*2-1 Roughnecks win (Shawn Evans scores both goals in mini-game clincher)

*15-13 Rush win (Mark Matthews notches hat trick)

*12-11 OT Roughnecks win (Curtis Dickson pots four goals plus two assists)

14-13 OT Roughnecks win (Curtis Dickson scores seven goals including game-winner)

15-11 Rush win (Curtis Knight records eight-point game including five goals)

15-7 Rush win (Zack Greer notches first-quarter hat trick)

15-8 Rush win (Mark Matthews tallies seven points including four goals)

*denotes playoff game


12-11 OT Roughnecks win (Shawn Evans caps 10-point game with OT winner)

18-13 Rush win (Ryan Ward sets Rush reg. season record with 10 points)

9-8 Roughnecks win (Curtis Dickson scores four goals including game-winner)

18-15 Roughnecks win (Jeff Shattler tallies two goals and adds six assists)


*19-11 Rush win (Ryan Ward sets Rush record with 11-point game)

9-6 Roughnecks win (Shawn Evans racks up four goals and two assists)

16-9 Roughnecks win (Shawn Evans pots five goals including penalty shot tally)

13-10 Roughnecks win (Curtis Dickson with four goals and three assists)

12-8 Roughnecks win (Curtis Dickson nets hat trick plus two assists)

*denotes playoff game


19-14 Roughnecks win (Jeff Shattler totals nine points with one goal and eight assists)

15-11 Roughnecks win (Dane Dobbie collects three goals and six assists)

12-11 OT Roughnecks win (Mike Scherman pots the game-winner)

12-11 Roughnecks win (Jeff Shattler notches hat trick plus five assists)


*11-7 Rush win (Ryan Ward notches nine points including eight assists)

13-8 Roughnecks win (Josh Sanderson picks up three goals and three assists)

14-13 OT Roughnecks win (Josh Sanderson earns hat trick including game-winner)

14-11 Rush win (Dean Hill notches hat trick and adds one assist)

*denotes playoff game


10-9 OT Roughnecks win (Curt Malawsky notches the game-winner)

22-10 Roughnecks win (Dane Dobbie collects 11 points including seven goals)

14-13 Roughnecks win (Tracey Kelusky racks up eight points including four goals)


11-9 Rush win (Jimmy Quinlan pots four goals plus one assist)

18-7 Roughnecks win (Kaleb Toth registers nine points including four goals)

12-8 Roughnecks win (Curt Malawsky registers four goals and one assist)


13-12 Roughnecks win (Kaleb Toth and Lewis Ratcliff each with four points)

13-12 Rush win (Chris Gill sets club record with six goals)

17-11 Roughnecks win (Tracey Kelusky collects two goals and seven assists)


11-9 Roughnecks win (Lewis Ratcliff scores five goals)

12-9 Roughnecks win (Kaleb Toth and Tracey Kelusky each with seven points)

12-11 Rush win (Pat Campbell earns player of the game with 54 saves)

16-9 Roughnecks win (Lewis Ratcliff notches four goals and two assists)

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