Rush vs. Warriors Game Notes
Saskatchewan Rush (1-1) vs. Vancouver Warriors (1-3)
9PM CST | Saturday, January 12th, 2019
Rogers Arena | Vancouver, BC
Watch | B/R Live
Listen | 92.9 The Bull
Official Viewing Party | Shoeless Joe's
Vancouver, BC - The Saskatchewan Rush go on the hunt for their first winning streak of the season as well as continuing their dominance of the NLL's West Division in a matchup against the Vancouver Warriors.
During the 2018 regular season, the Rush went a perfect 10-0 against their Western foes, the first time an undefeated divisional record has been accomplished in the league since the launch of an 18-game schedule. That winning streak included a 4-0 mark against Vancouver, which is now under the ownership of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks and underwent a name change from the Stealth to the Warriors in the off-season. New ownership has also resulted in the Warriors moving to Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver after playing their past campaigns as the Stealth at the Langley Events Centre.
Saskatchewan joyously celebrated its 2018 NLL championship banner raising last Saturday and followed the festivities with a 16-12 win over the San Diego Seals as Ben McIntosh collected nine points on five goals and four assists. NLL Cup MVP Jeff Shattler had a four-goal night, including one power-play tally and a shorthanded marker, and Mark Matthews scored twice and added three assists. Curtis Knight, Ryan Keenan, Marty Dinsdale, Connor Robinson and Jordi Jones-Smith rounded out the Rush scoring.
The Warriors opened their season with a stunning road win in Calgary but have since lost three straight.
The Rush have won 13 of the last 16 games against Vancouver and managed season-sweeps in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018. This is the first of three meetings between the Rush and Warriors this season with follow-up games to come February 16th in Saskatoon and March 30th in Vancouver.
Saskatchewan completed its season-sweep of Vancouver late in the 2018 campaign with a 20-10 victory on the coast as several players racked up big offensive nights. Mark Matthews collected 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists), Robert Church put up nine points (4 goals, 5 assists), and Ryan Keenan, Marty Dinsdale and Ben McIntosh each had seven-point efforts as they combined for 11 goals and 10 assists. Jeff Shattler and Mike Messenger added to the Rush scoring, while goaltender Adam Shute made his first career NLL start and picked up the victory.
Prior to that double-digit win, the Rush beat Vancouver 16-10 behind a four-goal, four-assist game from Robert Church and nine assists for Mark Matthews. Marty Dinsdale also had four goals, Jeff Shattler notched three goals and three assists, and Ryan Keenan and Ben McIntosh both scored twice. Dan Dawson also scored in his first game with the Rush, coming to Saskatchewan earlier in the week in trade with Rochester. The Rush also beat Vancouver twice in the span of seven days last season. On February 3rd, Curtis Knight, Robert Church, Mark Matthews, Ryan Keenan and Ben McIntosh each scored twice in an 11-9 win for Saskatchewan.
One weekend later, the Rush jumped out to a 6-0 lead and chased Stealth starting goaltender Eric Penney just 8:32 into the game before going on to win 16-9. Robert Church (3 goals, 5 assists) led the Rush with eight points, while Curtis Knight collected four goals and Ben McIntosh posted a hat trick. Mark Matthews added a pair of goals with Chris Corbeil, Marty Dinsdale, Jeff Shattler, and Matt Hossack each scoring once.
MILES TO GO: Three Rush players are in range of setting career milestones in this weekend's game. Former league MVP and reigning NLL Cup MVP Jeff Shattler needs just two goals to hit 300 for his illustrious career, while Ben McIntosh needs three points to reach 300 for his career. Jeremy Thompson can also hit a high-water mark as he needs 12 faceoff wins to reach 1,500 in regular-season play. Thompson would become only the fourth player in NLL history to reach that plateau.
HEALING HAND: The Rush's Robert Church, a finalist for the NLL MVP award last season, missed the San Diego game due to a wrist injury. He's still questionable for Saturday in Vancouver. If he can't go, expect Connor Robinson to stay in the lineup with Mason Pynn activated from the practice roster. Robinson was all around the offence zone in his pro debut and scored his first NLL goal late in the fourth.
Statistically Speaking: Ben McIntosh's terrific outing against San Diego moved him atop the Rush's scoring list at 15 points and into a tie for 13th place in the league having only played two games. He is also tied for eighth in goals (8) and tied for sixth in power-play goals (2). McIntosh leads all NLL players with more than four goals in shooting percentage as well at 34.8% (8 goals on 23 shots). McIntosh hit the leaderboard in the league's Three Star Voting as well with five points for being named First Star against San Diego ... The Rush's Ryan Keenan stands tied for eighth in the league with 10 assists, while Mark Matthews is tied for fifth with four power-play assists ... Matt Beers of the Warriors leads the NLL with 38 loose ball scoops with the Rush's Jeremy Thompson tied for fourth at 32. Former Rush and now longtime Vancouver transition Ian Hawksbee is third with 36 loose balls ... Vancouver's Logan Schuss is fourth in the NLL with 14 assists and tied for fifth with 22 points. His teammate Keegan Bal is tied for eighth with 17 points and tied for fourth in power-play goals with three ... Former Rush goalie and Champion's Cup MVP Aaron Bold had a good outing against Georgia last week, but is ranked 12th in both save-percentage (.739) and goals-against average (13.15) ... 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 have an all-time record of 22-15 against the Vancouver franchise, which was formerly the San Jose/Washington/Vancouver Stealth ... Saskatchewan's power play is ranked second in the NLL at 66.7% (6-for-9), but the penalty kill, which got beat for four goals against San Diego, is ranked 10th at 40.0% (four kills in 10 shorthanded situations) ... Vancouver's special teams both sit in sixth spot. The power play is at 41.2% (7-for-17) and the penalty kill is at 55.0% (11 kills in 20 shorthanded situations) ... Warriors defenceman Zack Porter is tied for fifth with six caused turnovers and is also tied with teammate Matt Beers for fourth spot in defenceman scoring with four points ... 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. Warriors/Stealth - Season-by-Season Glance
20-10 Rush win (Mark Matthews, Robert Church and Ben McIntosh combine for 12 goals and 15 assists)
16-10 Rush win (Robert Church racks up eight points on four goals and four assists)
16-9 Rush win (Robert Church collects eight points including a hat trick)
11-9 Rush win (Robert Church scores twice and adds five assists for seven-point game)
16-12 Rush win (Mark Matthews tops scoring with hat trick and four assists)
13-9 Stealth win (Tye Belanger makes 55 saves)
16-12 Rush win (Robert Church racks up four goals and Mark Matthews chips in eight assists)
14-12 Stealth win (Logan Schuss and Joel McCready each scored four goals)
24-16 Rush win (Zack Greer records career-high 11 points including five goals)
13-11 Stealth win (Corey Small fires in five goals against his former team)
17-10 Rush win (Robert Church racks up nine points with five goals and four assists)
15-14 OT Rush win (Zack Greer scored four goals including overtime game-winner)
19-7 Rush win (Mark Matthews and Tyler Melnyk both score four goals)
10-5 Rush win (Aaron Bold totals 40 saves for the victory)
10-9 Rush win (Robert Church notches hat trick)
9-8 Rush win (Curtis Knight, Zack Greer, & Mark Matthews each score two goals)
*12-11 Stealth win (Rhys Duch notches four goals and two assists)
15-10 Rush win (Mark Matthews registers 'sock trick' with six goals)
12-10 Stealth win (Rhys Duch collects two goals and two assists)
18-10 Rush win (Mark Matthews ties team record with nine points)
*denotes playoff game - West Division Semifinal
10-9 Rush win (Zack Greer paces Rush with four goals)
16-5 Rush win (Corey Small ties team record with nine-point game)
14-12 Rush win (Scott Evans scores one goal and adds seven loose balls)
15-14 Rush win (Corey Small notches three goals and three assists)
18-10 Stealth win (Lewis Ratcliff racks up nine points including four goals)
14-6 Stealth win (Colin Doyle chips in four assists)
*12-11 Stealth OT win (Paul Rabil notches game-winner eight seconds into OT)
15-7 Stealth win (Lewis Ratcliff scores twice and adds five assists)
14-13 Rush OT win (Gavin Prout connects for seven points including three goals)
14-13 Rush win (Ryan Ward leads the way with four goals)
*denotes playoff game - West Division Final
16-6 Stealth win (Cam Sedgwick scores four goals and adds two assists)
11-10 Stealth win (Jeff Zywicki racks up seven points including three goals)
11-8 Stealth win (Colin Doyle notches four goals and adds two assists)
12-5 Rush win (Jimmy Quinlan picks up the hat trick)
11-9 Stealth win (Jeff Zywicki counts five points including three goals)
14-7 Stealth win (Jeff Zywicki notches nine-point game including five goals)
9-8 Stealth win (Colin Doyle paces attack with five points)
10-9 Stealth OT win (Jeff Zywicki scores three goals including game-winner)
12-11 Stealth win (Jeff Zywicki picks up hat trick plus two assists)
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