They’ve had some close calls of late. Friday night, though, the Edmonton Rush made an emphatic statement that they’re still the team to beat in the National Lacrosse League, dumping the Roughnecks 15-7 in Calgary. After Curtis Dickson opened the scoring with his first of four goals just a minute into the game, it was all Rush. Edmonton outshot Calgary 62-34. If you count goals from players coming off the bench before the offence and defence got settled in, the Rush scored more goals in transition (eight) than Calgary did overall. It was a thoroughly dominating performance by the first team in NLL history to open the season with 10 straight wins.
Zack Greer led the Edmonton offence with 3 goals and Cory Conway scored twice and added 2 assists. But not only did the defence do a great job of limiting the Roughnecks, they pitched in on the offensive end in a big way. Chris Corbeil had a pair of goals while Ryan Dilks, Jeff Cornwall, Jeremy Thompson and Nick Bilic also scored in transition. Curtis Knight and Greer added goals that were set up by the running of the defensive unit.
Edmonton led 2-1 after the first quarter but then the floodgates opened. The Rush scored four times in the first 5:16 of the second period to take control of the game. They would outscore the Roughnecks 7-2 overall in the second. Dickson was about the only bright spot for Calgary, scoring all three of their goals in the first half, including batting one home from the crease with just four seconds to play. Dickson would swat home another goal just 15 seconds into the third quarter. Combined with a Jeff Shattler power play goal at 2:42, it looked like Calgary maybe able to creep back into contention as they pulled within 9-5.
But the Edmonton defence got back on track, limiting Calgary’s passing and shooting lanes with tremendous pressure and teamwork. The Rush scored the only other two goals of the third and they were in full control heading to the final period. Adding the first three goals of the fourth quarter made it a fait accompli that the Rush would take the game. Now, if the Buffalo Bandits beat the Colorado Mammoth tonight, Edmonton will have clinched a playoff spot. It’s safe to say, though, that the so-far impeccable Rush have their sights set significantly higher than just reaching the postseason.
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