Back to back ...

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

Welcome to Truth or Consequences, Alberta.

OK, it's actually Edmonton, but the residents are still the Rush.

For the first time in their short history in the National Lacrosse League, the Rush are playing back-to-back games on a weekend - and not just once but two weekends in a row.

The Rush are in Colorado tonight and then trek home Saturday for an evening tilt with the Arizona Sting.

Six nights later, the Rush pay a return visit on the Sting and then shuffle over to California 24 hours later to meet the San Jose Stealth.

Four games in nine nights.

The truth of the matter is the Rush can really become a factor in the West Division playoff chase with a good measure of success during this loaded section of the schedule.

The consequences of substantial failure over the same period of time are so dire it would essentially mean an end to their inaugural season.

No pressure really - just the balance of the season hanging on about eight hours of game time.

"I think it's actually going to be good for us because the nature of our game is energy and speed," said Rush head coach Paul Day.

"The key is to focus on the first game and not worry about the second till the day of that game."

Day has some reason for optimism considering his former club, the Rochester Knighthawks, went 10-3 during back-to-back encounters over the last five years Day was behind their bench.

The Rochester teams, however, had more seasoned talent than the Rush do now. Yet that hasn't curbed the Rush's enthusiasm for leaping into the most hectic portion of their first-year campaign.

"We want to be 3-1 or even 4-0 after these games. That would be a huge step for pushing us in the right direction to make the playoffs," said Jimmy Quinlan, the Rush's leading scorer.

"We're just starting to get rolling. Even though the back to backs are pretty daunting and gruelling, we've got young legs in our lineup and we can put energy into our lineup on any given night. It's going to be good for us to get going and get serious for the next four games."

The Rush earned their first win two weeks ago by pulling off one of the most dramatic victories in NLL history. Now building off that momentum is an absolute.

"We should be 3-3 the way we competed and played," explained Day.

"But when people look at the standings and see we're 1-6 they figure that we're where everybody expected us to be.

"As a coaching staff and as a group of young men, I believe we've played better than most people expected."

SHOT IN THE DARK: Colorado GM Steve Govett didn't want to give the Rush any locker-room headlines to stoke their fire for tonight's game, but he did take a shot at A.J. Jomha, Edmonton's director of lacrosse operations.

Govett denied that he was trying to get back all the assets he sent to New York in a 2003 trade to land Edmonton-reared talent Ben Prepchuk.

The Rush and Mammoth have since had repeated talks about a swap but efforts have ranged from "close" to "not nearly enough."

"I saw that quote from A.J. Jomha that we were trying to make up for that trade. I think he should stick with being an assistant coach," said Govett.

QUICK STICKS: The Rush got some good news on the injury front as Andrew Turner's nagging groin problem has subsided and he'll be ready for the weekend. Darren Hillier (elbow) and Jimmy Quinlan (ankle) were dinged up in the last game against Calgary but are also healthy.


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