The San Jose Stealth wrecked the Edmonton Rush's debut in the National Lacrosse League.
After a furious comeback by the Rush in the late stages of the fourth quarter, the Stealth got the break in overtime and they took advantage of it. Jeff Zywicki hit the net in sudden death, cutting the heart out of the Rush with a 10-9 decision before the 11,385 fans who were on hand at Rexall Place.
"That was huge," smiled Zywicki, a former collegiate star in the U.S.
"It felt pretty good to silence a few thousand people and rain on their parade."
ERASED 8-6 LEAD
The Rush were very nearly singing in the rain as they erased the Stealth's 8-6 advantage in the last three minutes.
Brad Dairon poked a rebound in on a power play and then Jordan Sundher was able to tie it when he found a tiny space up high on Stealth goalie Anthony Cosmo.
Dairon then forced overtime when he pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the crease with 17.4 seconds remaining in regulation.
"It's whoever gets a lucky shot," said Rush forward Kerry Susheski of the sudden-death showdown.
"We had the momentum but we just couldn't put it in the net at the right time."
Jamey Bowen, who had wanted to play a professional lacrosse game in front of his home-town crowd for years, hit the Rush history book with the club's first-ever goal 8:50 into the first period after his club had done a good job of killing of two straight Stealth power plays.
"I'll be honest, I teared up a little.
"But I would have rather have had the win,"said Bowen, who finished with a pair and was the Rush's best offensive threat all game.
The loss definitely took a bite out of the Rush's enthusiasm for their inaugural game.
"Tough loss, great game,"said Bowen.
Pat Campbell came up big in early moments for the Rush and once they were clear of early penalty trouble, the Rush hit for three goals in just over three minutes including two on their own power plays.
After Bowen came off a pick and picked the corner with a long shot, Tyler Heavenor gunned a low sidearm shot past Stealth goalie Anthony Cosmo.
Jimmy Quinlan, another local product, gave Edmonton a 3-0 lead as he dropped in a shot after a series of quick passes around the San Jose net.
San Jose responded with a tougher second quarter and the teams went back and forth hitting the scoresheet.
The veteran Stealth showed their strength and took control over the course of the third quarter. It was an uphill battle the rest of the way for the Rush.
DUELLING WITH CAMPBELL
Cosmo, who duelled with Campbell all game in the save department, saved his team at the end of the third with a huge stop on a one-timer by Heavenor.
"I think we played so much short-man in the first half that we might have lost a bit of the momentum," said Rush head coach Paul Day.
"But we have to give our guys a lot of credit for being down two with not much time left and put it into overtime."
Darren Hillier also scored for the Rush while Spencer Martin, Gary Rosyski and Cam Sedgewick added to the Stealth's count.