Rush vs. Seals Game Notes
Saskatchewan Rush (6-5) vs. San Diego Seals (7-4)
Pechanga Arena | San Diego, CA
Watch | B/R Live
Listen | 92.9 The Bull
Official Away Game Viewing Party | Shoeless Joe's Saskatoon
It's a showdown for top spot in the NLL's West Division as the Saskatchewan Rush take their first road trip to San Diego for a battle with the Seals.
The expansion Seals are currently on top of the West with a one-game lead over the reigning-champion Rush. Saskatchewan is a game up on third-place Calgary.
Last weekend, the Rush had their three-game winning streak stopped in dramatic fashion as the Buffalo Bandits escaped Saskatoon with a 12-11 overtime victory. The Rush climbed back into the game after trailing 9-5 in the third quarter but came up short despite a four-goal game from Mark Matthews - three of which came during the comeback.
Mike Messenger, Jeff Shattler and Ben McIntosh each scored twice for the Rush with Ryan Keenan adding a single. Rush starting goalie Evan Kirk was injured in the third quarter and will not play against the Seals. Adam Shute came in cold off the bench and wound up making 21 saves, including a sensational diving stick save in the final seconds of regulation to keep the game knotted up.
Shute will make his second start of the season when he goes between the pipes against San Diego.
The Seals regained control of the top spot in the West after last Saturday's 13-11 home-turf win over the Philadelphia Wings.
The Rush and Seals met for their first-ever encounter in Saskatchewan's home-opener back in January with the Rush pulling out a 16-12 win behind a nine-point effort from Ben McIntosh (5 goals, 4 assists). Jeff Shattler added four goals for the Rush, Mark Matthews put up five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and Marty Dinsdale notched six points (1 goal, 5 assists). Ryan Keenan, Jordi Jones-Smith, Curtis Knight, and Connor Robinson each scored once for Saskatchewan.
WINNER, (GAME) WINNER: Had Jeff Shattler's goal midway through the fourth quarter against Buffalo stood up, it would have been his fourth game-winner in as many victories for the Rush and tied Shattler for the club's single-season record. He'll still have a shot at that team record, though, for the rest of the season. Curtis Knight set the Rush's game-winning goal record in 2014 when he scored five that season.
RUSH SINGLE-SEASON GAME-WINNING GOAL LEADERS
2019 - Jeff Shattler (4)
2018 - Curtis Knight & Ben McIntosh (3)
2017 - Adam Jones (3)
2016 - Zack Greer (4)
2015 - Robert Church & Ben McIntosh (3)
2014 - Curtis Knight (5)
2013 - Zack Greer (3)
BROTHERLY LOVE: The San Diego Seals already had one set of brothers when Brodie Merrill signed as a free agent to join his brother Patrick, the Seals' GM and head coach. Now they have two after acquiring Paul Dawson from Rochester at the trade deadline to join his brother Dan, who a year earlier had been traded to the Rush just prior to the deadline. Maybe the Rush find a dynamic duo next season should they have both Travis and Jeff Cornwall on the roster.
Statistically Speaking: After his four-goal game against Buffalo, the Rush's Mark Matthews is now tied for seventh in the league with 63 points, tied for 10th in goals with 26, and tied for 13th in assists with 37 ... The Rush's Ben McIntosh is tied for 13th in goals with 24 ... The Rush continue to hold the NLL's number-one ranked power play at 64.7% (22-for-34). They went 2-for-2 on the man-advantage in their previous game against San Diego. Ben McIntosh is tied for eighth in the league with six power-play goals and Mark Matthews is tied for third with 13 power-play assists ... San Diego's power play is ranked fifth at 46.3% (25-for-54) and the Seals went 5-for-6 against the Rush back in January. The Seals have given up seven shorthanded goals ... The Rush are ranked 11th on the penalty kill at 46.7% but they have scored seven shorthanded goals, including Mike Messenger's tally against Buffalo. The Seals are ranked seventh on the penalty kill at 52.9% ... Jeff Shattler is tied for second in the league with two shorthanded goals and Rush teammate Matt Hossack is tied for third with two shorthanded assists. Hossack is also tied for eighth in scoring by defencemen with nine points ... Saskatchewan's Jeremy Thompson is second in the NLL with 139 loose ball scoops and sits third with 162 faceoff wins ... Rush defenceman Kyle Rubisch is tied for second with 25 caused turnovers with teammate Mike Messenger in fifth with 21. Rubisch is also tied for 13th in loose balls with 88 ... San Diego's Austin Staats is the runaway leader for the Rookie of the Year. He leads all rookies with 50 points and is tied for eighth in the league with 27 goals. Staats also has six power-play goals, while former Rush Dan Dawson has 12 power-play assists for the Seals ... Seals goalie Frank Scigliano, who was previously with Calgary, is second in the NLL with a .794 save-percentage and sits fourth in goals-against average (11.12), wins (seven), and total saves (466) ... 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 ... 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.
The Rush are 2-3 on the road and 5-1 against the West Division so far this season. The Seals are 4-1 at home and 5-3 versus the West ... This is the Rush's first-ever visit to Pechanga Arena San Diego where the Seals are averaging 8,807 per game. Saskatchewan leads the NLL with a home attendance average of 13,216, including 13,291 for the game against Buffalo ... The Rush are third in the league with an average of 12.55 goals scored per game, and seventh with an average of 11.64 goals allowed per game. The Seals are sixth in goals with an average of 11.64 per By the Numbers: Scigilano has 15 points (4 x Second Star, 3 x Third Star). The Rush's Mark Matthews is sandwiched in between with 17 points (2 x First Star, 2 x Second Star, 1 x Third Star) ... 2018 Regular Season: Saskatchewan won the NLL's attendance derby with an average of 14,639 - 458 better than Buffalo ... 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) ... 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).game, but have risen to third in goals allowed at 11.18. The 123 goals allowed by the Seals is the lowest in the West Division, five fewer than the Rush ... The Rush are ninth in the league with an average of 11.27 penalty minutes per game. San Diego is third with an average of 15.55 PIM per game ... Saskatchewan's Nik Bilic is ninth in the league with 24 PIM, while San Diego's Austin Staats and Garrett McIntosh are right behind him with 23 PIM ... The Rush are third in the league with a team shooting percentage of 17.3% ... Both the Rush and Seals are 0-3 on the year when trailing after three quarters ... The Rush are 5-0 when leading at halftime and 6-0 when leading after three. The Seals are 6-1 when leading at halftime ... Saskatchewan has outscored its opposition 36-27 in fourth-quarter action ... The Seals have outscored their opponents 70-59 in first-half play but trail 66-58 in second-half action ... Seals rookie Austin Staats is third in the league in Three Star Award voting with 21 points (3 x First Star, 2 x Second Star) and teammate Frank
Rush vs. Seals - Season-by-Season Glance
16-12 Rush win (Ben McIntosh registers nine points on five goals and four assists)
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National Lacrosse League Stories from March 21, 2019
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