Inconsistency hits Heavenor, Cornfield

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:21 PM ET

Rookies never have it easy.

It's a big jump raising your game to a higher level, and the adjustment can take some time. Throw in the fact that the team you're playing on is an expansion squad desperate for scoring punch, and the job becomes that much tougher.

For Jordan Cornfield and Tyler Heavenor, the first two games of the inaugural Edmonton Rush season have had their high and lows. Both have scored impressive goals - Heavenor with a long-range rocket in the season opener against San Jose, and Cornfield with a nifty touch around the net last week in Calgary. Trouble is, those two tallies have been all the offence they've been able to mustre. For two guys with considerable scoring potential, a pair of goals between them isn't good enough.

"I played like junk the second game," admitted Heavenor, who will get a chance to redeem himself tonight in the finale of the home-and-home series the Roughnecks.

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY

"I definitely feel I can offer more. The last few years, I've felt I've deserved a shot at playing in the NLL and it didn't work out. This is a great opportunity I've got, and now I've got to get my stats up there."

A lot of players in the NLL would kill for the ability to shoot like Heavenor. He has the skills to deliver some the hardest shots around like the one that whizzed past

Stealth goalie Anthony Cosmo. But a week later, the 25-year-old seemed reluctant to unleash his shot ,particularly on power plays where the Rush need a major jolt.

"I am putting a lot of pressure on myself," said Heavenor, who has only taken eight shots over the two games.

"I'm trying not to think about it too much, so I don't play mind games with myself. I'm not panicking yet, but it is time to step things up."

Both Heavenor and Cornfield are also coming off productive summer seasons in B.C.'s Western Lacrosse Association. Heavenor notched 45 points in 16 games for the Victoria Shamrocks, who went on to win the Mann Cup national championship.

Cornfield, meanwhile, was second on the Burnaby Lakers' scoring chart after putting up 59 points in 18 games.

But unlike Heavenor, Cornfield will have to wait for another chance in the Rush lineup.

Head coach Paul Day has opted to sit the hometown boy this week and replace him with Randy Daly, a speedster who suffered a stress fracture in his left leg during training camp.

"I know exactly how Jordan feels. My first couple of years in the league, I was trying to find a spot," said Daly, who has previous NLL experience with stints in his hometown of Vancouver and in Colorado.

"This is exactly what I wanted to happen for me coming off injured reserve, but I hate to be the guy doing this Jordan.

COULD MAKE BIG SPLASH

''I thought he played well his first two games and I'd love the opportunity to play with him. If he's patient, I think he'll make a big splash in this league."

While Cornfield has enjoyed some serious success in selling tickets from his desk in the Rush office, it has been a slower process for him to find a groove on the floor.

"The first game, I didn't really know what to expect and I was holding back and not playing my game," said the 23-year-old. "It is a big adjustment and I was kind of nervous, but I felt I started to get on track last game."


Videos

Photos