Edmonton Rush announce 2013 Roster

Can Mark Matthews be the difference for the Edmonton Rush in 2013? (Photo: Edmonton Rush)
Can Mark Matthews be the difference for the Edmonton Rush in 2013? (Photo: Edmonton Rush)

Edmonton, AB—The Edmonton Rush have announced the roster of players that will wear the silver and black heading into the 2013 National Lacrosse League season.

General Manager/Head Coach Derek Keenan announced the team today that will suit up as the Rush defend their NLL West Division title and aim for the franchise’s first Champion’s Cup. (Roster below)

The Rush open their 2013 NLL schedule on Sunday, January 13 when they host the Toronto Rock on Crystal Glass Field at Rexall Place.

“Through the training camp process I think we’ve chosen a pretty good group,” said Keenan. “We have reached our objective of infusing youth, speed, and athleticism in all areas while at the same time maintaining some veteran leadership.”

The 2012 regular season saw the Rush finish with a 6-10 record and a fourth-place finish in the West Division standings. But the Rush tore through the West during the playoffs, eliminating the arch-rival Calgary Roughnecks in the Division Semifinal, and then coming through with a decisive victory over the Minnesota Swarm in the Division Final. Edmonton’s playoff express finally came to end with a Champion’s Cup game setback against Rochester.

Amongst the biggest names returning to the Rush are the team’s all-time leading scorer and captain Jimmy Quinlan, last year’s NLL leading playoff scorer Ryan Ward, and all-star goaltender Aaron Bold. Edmonton’s influx of young talent comes from the heart of the 2012 NLL Entry Draft – first overall pick Mark Matthews and eighth overall selection Curtis Knight.

“Our defensive group is young and athletic, and our goaltending is very strong with Aaron and Brodie MacDonald both having strong camps,” noted Keenan, who returns for his third season behind the Rush bench.

“On offense, I think we have lots of depth and lots of speed as well as a strong perimeter presence.”

In goal, Bold, who ended the year with a spot on the NLL’s Second All-Pro Team, is coming off a terrific campaign that saw him lead the league in minutes played (951) and finish third in both goals-against average (10.47) and total saves (571). Bold, who was the NLL’s Defensive Player of the Week for Week 14 last season, also set a Rush team record for assists in a season by a goaltender as he registered 14 helpers.

Defensively, the Rush were one of the most active groups last season with four players finishing in the top-10 for forced turnovers, including NLL Defender of the Year and First Team All-Pro Kyle Rubisch. Along with his league-leading 43 forced turnovers, Rubisch finished sixth in the league in loose balls with 151, was twice named NLL Defensive Player of the Week (Weeks 8 and 15), and earned a starting spot on the West Division All-Star Team. Joining Rubisch in the ball-hawk group are Jarrett Toll(seventh, 20 FT), Jeff Cornwall (eighth, 19 FT), and Brett Mydske (10th, 18 FT).

The defence will be without Tyler Codron this year as the strong defender has been selected to the Burnaby Fire Department and due to the elevation period is unable to commit to weekends.

Bold’s netminding and the stingy defensive crew helped the Rush surrender only 175 goals last season – the second-fewest goals allowed in the league (five back of Calgary).

To bolster the offense, the Rush used the first overall pick in the Entry Draft to select Mark Matthews from Denver University, and the former All-American is expected to bring significant firepower to a lineup that ranked last in goals scored last season. Matthews, who played for Keenan in junior with the Whitby Warriors, notched 155 goals (including 30 hat tricks and 21 power-play markers) and 216 points while at Denver – which are both school records. Matthews is reunited not only with Keenan on the Rush but with former Whitby stars Knight and John Lafontaine as well.

Adding to the offensive muscle for the Rush are Zack Greer, who led Edmonton with 31 goals during the 2012 regular season, Ward, Corey Small and newcomer Cory Conway.

Ward, who led the 2010 Rush in scoring and mustered 57 points during the 2012 regular season, managed to come up with the best run of his career during the playoffs, rolling out a team record 11-point performance against Calgary in the West Semifinal. Ward finished the playoffs as the NLL’s top scorer with 21 points in three games.

After leading the team in scoring in 2011, Small finished third with 48 points last season during which he set a franchise record for assists in a single game with seven during a victory over Washington. Small, a former Rush Rookie of the Year, gave the Rush a big push in the West Division Semifinal as he scored five goals and totaled eight points in the win over Calgary.

Helping pace the offense will be the Rush’s transition unit anchored by returnees Chris Corbeil and Tom Johnson alongside the newly acquired duo of Jeremy Thompson and Jarrett Davis, both of whom come to the team via off-season trades.

On top of the season’s home-opener against Toronto, the Rush’s 2013 NLL regular-season schedule includes four games against the Calgary Roughnecks, home-and-away sets against division rivals Colorado and Minnesota, three games against West foe Washington, and a pair of 2012 Champion’s Cup rematches against the Rochester Knighthawks.

The Rush will play four of their first six games of the season at home, and then round out the schedule with a three-game homestand including a regular-season finale against Calgary on April 20.

Season Tickets, Flex-Packs and Group Tickets are available by calling the Rush Office (780) 732-RUSH.

Notes:

Coach Keenan is available via telephone today for interviews, please contact Pauline Hughes.

President Dave Jamieson and Captain Jimmy Quinlan will be available at Rexall Place today at 3:00 p.m. in the North Club, please enter through the East Ramp doors.

2013 Edmonton Rush Roster

Number Name Active Roster Position Shoots Height Weight Birthdate Hometown 2012 Team
77 Bold, Aaron Goalie Right 6′2″ 207 lbs 22-Apr-85 Victoria, BC Edmonton Rush
20 Banister, Mitchell Forward Right 6′0″ 175 lbs 19-Jul-90 Okotoks, AB Rookie
10 Burke, Michael Forward Right 6′1″ 170 lbs 20-Mar-90 Caledon, ON Rookie
91 Conway, Cory Forward Right 6′2″ 205 lbs 27-Oct-87 Brentwood Bay Calgary Roughnecks
16 Corbeil, Chris Defence Left 6′3″ 195 lbs. 22-May-88 Oakville, ON Edmonton Rush
23 Davis, Jarrett Forward Right 6′1″ 170 lbs 8-Aug-87 Port Moody, ON Rochester Knighthawks
24 Dilks, Ryan Defence Right 6′1″ 185 lbs. 20-Oct-90 Hamilton, ON Edmonton Rush
88 Greer, Zack Forward Left 6′1″ 190 lbs 12-Feb-86 Whitby, ON Edmonton Rush
13 Jeff, Cornwall Defence Left 6′2″ 218 lbs 29-May-91 Coquitlam, BC Edmonton Rush
8 Johnson, Tom Forward Left 6′3″ 210 lbs 28-Nov-85 North Delta, BC Edmonton Rush
9 Knight, Curtis Forward Right 5′10″ 170 lbs 20-Feb-92 Oshawa, ON Rookie
33 Lafontaine, John Transition Right 6′2″ 210 lbs 15-May-80 Whitby, ON Edmonton Rush
6 Lintz, John Defence Left 6′3″ 210 lbs 25-Jun-86 Edmonton, AB Edmonton Rush
42 Matthews, Mark Forward Left 6′5″ 230 lbs 27-Jan-87 Oshawa, ON Rookie
50 MacDonald, Brodie Goalie Left 6′7″ 245 lbs 11-Sep-89 Kelowna, BC Edmonton Rush
2 Mydske, Brett Defence Right 6′4″ 215 lbs 30-Jul-88 New Westminster Edmonton Rush
88 Quinlan, Jim Transition Left 5′11″ 178 lbs 2-Dec-81 Edmonton, AB Edmonton Rush
4 Rubisch, Kyle Defence Right 6′2″ 220 lbs 29-Aug-88 Brampton, ON Edmonton Rush
15 Small, Corey Forward Left 5′10″ 180 lbs. 23-Mar-87 St.Catherines, ON Edmonton Rush
74 Thompson, Jeremy Transition Right 5′11″ 194 lbs 1-Feb-87 Akwesasne, ON Buffalo Bandits
3 Toll, Jarrett Defence Right 5′11″ 185 lbs. 16-Jan-89 Maple Ridge, BC Edmonton Rush
87 Turner, Alex Forward Right 6′1″ 205 lbs 11-Jan-87 Kamloops, BC Free Agent
44 Ward, Ryan Forward Right 5′9″ 185 lbs. 26-Sep-80 Victoria, BC Edmonton Rush

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