Rush vs. Roughnecks Game Notes
Saskatchewan Rush (3-3) vs. Calgary Roughnecks (4-4)
Co-op Field at SaskTel Centre | Saskatoon, SK
Tickets | TicketMaster
Watch | B/R Live
Listen | 92.9 The Bull
Official Pre- & Post- Game Viewing Party | Shoeless Joe's Saskatoon
Having lost two in a row for the first time in two years, the Saskatchewan Rush will look to break out of a mini-slump when they renew the NLL's Battle of the Prairies against the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday night.
The Rush dropped a 16-13 decision in Toronto last Friday, handing them a second straight defeat after falling 13-10 in Georgia a week earlier. Saskatchewan had not lost two straight since the start of the 2017 season when the lost the first two games of the season on the road in Georgia and Toronto.
Calgary defeated Vancouver 8-5 last Saturday and moved into a tie for second in the West with the Rush, both teams one game behind the division-leading San Diego Seals.
A clash with the Roughnecks might just what the Rush need. The Rush have won 10 of the last 11 regular-season games against Calgary and have beaten the Roughnecks in three straight playoff matchups as well - a trend that continued in 2018 as well.
Last season, the Rush advanced to their fourth consecutive NLL championship series and ultimately their third title after beating Calgary 15-13 in the West Division Final. Ben McIntosh and Robert Church (each 3 goals, 3 assists) and Mark Matthews (2 goals, 5 assists) anchored the Rush attack while goaltender Evan Kirk stopped 38 shots in his first playoff appearance for the Rush. Defenceman Ryan Dilks added a pair of goals for the Rush with singles going to Curtis Knight, Ryan Keenan, Marty Dinsdale, Jeff Shattler, and Matt Hossack.
The Rush completed their second season-series sweep of the Roughnecks in the regular-season finale with an 11-10 victory. Mark Matthews had a goal and six assists for the Rush while Jeff Shattler and Ben McIntosh both scored twice. Goals from Dan Dawson, Robert Church, Ryan Keenan, and Marty Dinsdale rounded out the Rush scoring. In the team's first matchup of last season, Ben McIntosh scored his second goal of the game 46 seconds into overtime to lift the Rush to a 13-12 win. Curtis Knight, Mark Matthews, Adrian Sorichetti, and Jeff Shattler also scored twice for Saskatchewan with singles going to Ryan Keenan, Nick Finlay, and Jeremy Thompson.
The Rush added to their winning ways against the Roughnecks in the return matchup a month later in Saskatoon as they came away with a 10-6 victory behind a 37-save effort from Evan Kirk. Mark Matthews put up seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) with Jeff Shattler and Marty Dinsdale both scoring twice, and singles going to Jeremy Thompson, Ben McIntosh and Robert Church.
Last Friday in Toronto, the Rush got fourth-quarter shorthanded goals from Jeremy Thompson and Kyle Rubisch but they couldn't get close enough in falling to the Rock. Ben McIntosh had a hat trick for Saskatchewan with Mark Matthews adding a pair, and singles going to Nick Finlay, Curtis Knight, Robert Church, Ryan Keenan, and Jeff Shattler.
FAMILIAR FACES: The Rush and Roughnecks are one of the NLL's most notorious rivalries and both teams have former players in each other's lineups. Saskatchewan boasts Jeff Shattler, a former league MVP and Transition Player of the Year, who left Calgary via free agency and added NLL Cup MVP to his resume last spring with the Rush. The Rush also have former Roughneck Mary Dinsdale, who has become an integral part of the team's offence. For Calgary, former Rush Dan Taylor and Riley Loewen sit third and fourth, respectively, in team scoring. As well, Chris Boushy, who was picked by Saskatchewan in the third round of the 2017 draft, is off to a decent rookie campaign. He is second amongst NLL rookies with eight goals and tied for third in points with 13.
MEMORY LANE: The Rush hold a 20-27 record against Calgary in all-time regular-season action. The Roughnecks went 11-1 against the Rush from 2011-2013, but 2013 was last time that Calgary won a season-series against the Rush. Going way back in history, the Rush's first-ever franchise win was their only victory of the 2006 debut season and it came in Calgary.
Statistically Speaking: Despite not getting a single power-play opportunity in their past two games, the Rush continue to boast the NLL's top power play at 73.7% (14-for-19). Mark Matthews leads the NLL with nine power-play assists and Ben McIntosh is tied for third with five power-play goals. The Rush's PP unit will face the league-leading penalty kill unit in Calgary which sits at 64.1% ... The Rush's penalty kill is ranked last in the league at 48.3% but Calgary's power play is well back in ninth spot at 39.0% and has given up a league-high four shorthanded goals ... Calgary's Dane Dobbie is sixth in the NLL with 42 points, tied for second with 18 goals and tied for eighth with 24 assists ... The Rush's Mark Matthews is tied for 11th in league scoring with 36 points, while teammate Ben McIntosh is tied for second with 18 goals ... Jeremy Thompson of the Rush leads the NLL with 86 loose balls, four up on Calgary's Zach Currier in second. Thompson also sits third in the NLL with 94 faceoffs wins, while Currier leads the league with 19 caused turnovers. Saskatchewan's Kyle Rubisch is tied for sixth with 12 caused turnovers ... 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.
By the Numbers: The Rush are second in the NLL with a team shooting percentage of 17.5% and they are also second in team faceoff percentage at 58.5% ... The Rush and Roughnecks are amongst the least-penalized teams in the NLL. The Rush are eighth with an average of 11.83 PIM per game, while the Roughnecks are sixth at 12.50 PIM per game ... The Rush are third with an average of 12.67 goals per game and sixth with an average of 11.67 goals allowed per game. The Roughnecks are 10th in goals for at 10.13 but first in goals allowed at 10.38. Calgary leads the West Division with 81 goals scored but has given up the second-most at 83 ... Calgary's Rhys Duch has to be in the hunt for Comeback Player of the Year as he is tied for ninth in scoring (37 points) and has four power-play goals. Duch was surprisingly cut by Vancouver prior to the start of the season ... Roughnecks goalie Christian Del Bianco is second in the league with a 10.36 goals-against average and sits third in both total saves (305) and save-percentage (.788) ... Saskatchewan is 3-0 when leading at halftime and 0-3 when trailing at half so far this season ... The first quarter of games this season has been the worst for both the Rush and Roughnecks. The Rush have been outscored 26-21 in firsts and the Roughnecks have been outscored 24-17. However, the Rush have outscored their opposition 19-10 in third-quarter play ... 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. Roughnecks - Season-by-Season Glance
*15-13 Rush win (Ben McIntosh records hat trick and adds three assists for six-point night)
11-10 Rush win (Mark Matthews notches seven points, including six assists)
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)
*denotes playoff game
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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