Close just isn't cutting it anymore.
The Edmonton Rush played their usual style of desperately chasing a comeback - on this night nipping at the heels of the Minnesota Swarm all game long. But once the Swarm managed the game's first two-goal lead, it was all but done.
Once more the Rush fought hard and gave the crowd of 8,745 at Rexall Place some late heart-palpitations with a goal in the dying seconds but the Rush's heroics fell short again.
"Close isn't good enough," said Rush forward Kevin Howard, whose team fell to 0-5 on the year with a 7-6 loss to the Swarm.
"We'll keep working hard and eventually it will come, but it is frustrating."
The broken record keeping on playing.
"Guys worked hard, but not good enough,"said Rush head coach Paul Day, who saw his team fail on the power play yet again going a miserable 0-for-8.
Minnesota's man-advantage produced three goals on six chances.
It was a see-saw battle from the get-go until Jamie Taylor gave the Swarm a 6-5 lead with under five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Brock Boyle then gave Minnesota a seemingly comfortable cushion, netting his seventh goal on his seventh shot of the season.
The Rush went into full scramble mode in the final minute and got one back on Jimmy Quinlan's second of the game. They did one last crack at it on a Cam Bergman attempt with four ticks left on the clock but it wasn't enough of a threat to fool Swarm goalie Nick Patterson.
Edmonton managed 46 shots on Patterson but few were the quality tests needed on a quality netminder.
"We need to snap out of the funk of not burying our chances," said Quinlan. "It's not the effort - that's there. It's a matter of working smarter."
The Rush wanted to start things off with a bang.
It couldn't have come any quicker than Trent Smalley and Minnesota's Ryan Cousins getting tossed out for fighting before the opening faceoff.
The fight got rid of the Swarm captain, but the Rush didn't build off that momentum. In fact, they spent most of the first quarter killing penalties.
And when the Rush's own power play hit the floor, it staggered about and wasted a minor double assessed to Boyle and a two-man advantage.
Even at 2-2 after a half, the teams tried to fire up the offence. Minnesota's Chad Culp and Quinlan swapped goals 26 seconds apart before Ryan Ward struck on another Swarm power play. But Howard brought the Rush even again as he shuffled past Nolan Heavenor and launched himself into the crease while tucking a shot behind Swarm netminder Patterson.
Heavenor got some revenge with a rocket in the final minute of the third quarter but the Rush tied it up once more when Andrew Turner slipped a pass to a breaking Bergman and he went top shelf.
"Another night they're in the game but we need to start playing with a lead,"said Day. "We have to be better."
Kelly Hall and Sean Pollock also scored for the Swarm while Chris McElroy and Brad Dairon had Edmonton's other goals.
QUICK STICKS: The Rush honoured the memory of Edmonton sports legend Tiger Goldstick with a moment of silence before the opening faceoff.
NOTES: Rush defender Buck Stobart will go on the three-game injured reserve list after suffering bruised ribs and a possible concussion in a nasty collision last week in Toronto. Kyle McEwen is out with a foot injury ... Jordan Sundher got back in the lineup, replacing Chris Stachniak ... Toronto Rock head coach Terry Sanderson watched from the pressbox.