Rush lose another one

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:05 PM ET

The Edmonton Rush needed a miracle and they looked to their 45-year-old backup goaltender to play the role of saviour.

Dwight Maetche did his thing as he made several big stops along the way in his first NLL start since he was an all-star during the 2002 campaign.

But Maetche couldn't score and couldn't keep his team out of the penalty box. So the Rush came up short again, falling for the second time in 24 hours with a 15-11 setback to the Arizona Sting before a crowd of 9,684 at Rexall Place.

SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE

"It's frustrating when we have an effort like that," said Rush forward Brad Dairon. "We did a lot of things right, but we're still doing some things wrong, and that's the difference.''

A significant difference was the Rush's continuing struggles with special-teams play. They gave up four power-play goals and two shorthanded markers - none more lethal than Peter Lough's tally coming only seconds into the fourth quarter that broke open a 10-10 stalemate.

From there the Sting rattled off two power-play goals to pull away and end a three-game losing skid.

"You talk to any coach in this league and special teams are huge and they came through for us tonight," said Arizona bench boss Bob Hamley.

Head coach Paul Day didn't have the same venom for his team that he spat out after Friday's dismal defeat in Colorado.

Day was still upbeat about the Rush's fortunes, despite the fact they've failed to build off their stunning last-second win over Calgary two weeks ago.

"We're still two wins out of the playoffs and the effort we gave tonight should leave a pretty good taste in everyone's mouth," said Day. "We did a lot well - we ran well, we were better on the power play, better on the faceoffs.

"Whether we're 1-8 or 4-4, we're still two games out. As long as we're learning from the mistakes we made late in the game. A veteran team like Arizona doesn't make those mistakes."

Arizona tested Maetche with a barrage of hard shots from the outside.

But the veteran didn't look the least bit rusty or even tired after his half-game relief stint Friday night of flu-ridden starter Pat Campbell.

"If we'd have played with the intensity we had tonight on Friday night, we would have come away with a win," said Maetche, who managed 35 saves, including four terrific stops on Sting power plays in the fourth.

THE WINS WILL COME

"We're a young team and we need to continue to make sure we work hard because eventually those wins will come."

Maetche also earned an assist on one of two breakaway goals for Kerry Susheski.

Kevin Howard led the Rush attack with three goals while Peter Gut, Tyler Heavenor, Mat Giles, Colin Sherbanuk and Chris Stachniak added singles.

Pat Maddalena paced the Sting with four goals and two assists while Jonas Derks, Dan Dawson and Craig Conn all had five points.


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