Same old story for Rush

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

They had a late start and a frantic finish, but unfortunately for the Edmonton Rush, the result was the same.

On Saturday, the Rush were forced to wait around while their equipment was located after travelling to San Jose from Phoenix.

Their game against the San Jose Stealth was delayed nearly two hours.

When things finally did get underway, the Rush fell to the Stealth 12-11, dropping their National Lacrosse League record to 1-10.

"I don't know what it is, but the second quarter of games we don't show up," said Rush forward Kevin Howard. "We fall behind so much in the second quarter, that we have to play catch-up in the third and fourth. I think the fourth quarter has been our strongest because we play with so much desperation just trying to get back into the game.

"We climb back, but it's not enough and we end up falling short every time."

Such was the case in San Jose.

The Rush fell behind by three goals at the start of the contest, then were out-scored 5-2 in the second quarter to trail 8-4 at halftime.

After an even third quarter, the Rush mounted a late comeback in the fourth which fell short.

"I think that delay really hurt us," said Rush assistant coach A.J. Jomha. "They came out running and we fell behind. We went in to the dressing room at halftime and talked about regaining our composure and taking it one goal at a time and played pretty strong in the third quarter."

Howard led the way for the Rush with four goals, while Randy Daly and Trent Smalley each had a pair. Jimmy Quinlan and Mat Giles added the others.

Pat Campbell turned away 25 shots in a losing cause.

"Our guys really worked hard, and they showed some great effort," Jomha said. "I think that's been pretty consistent throughout the season. I think there's only been a couple of games where we can't say that, but I think (Saturday) was another solid effort. Everybody was really working hard and once we got our legs underneath us, I thought we played pretty well."

With the loss, the Rush's slim playoff hopes are all but gone.

The team is back home on Friday to host the Calgary Roughnecks (7:30 p.m.) at Rexall Place.

"It's a building process," Howard said. "I don't think anyone expected us to win the championship in our first year. But we want to improve every game and carry this on for next year."

Prior to the game, the Rush picked up a couple of new players, acquiring the services of forward Jason Clark and defenceman Rob Williams.

Clark, a Toronto native, was released by the Arizona Sting on Saturday. Williams of Burnaby, B.C., is a former member of the Calgary Roughnecks.

"We are a very young team and the composure that you need isn't quite there yet," said Jomha. "You can just see from Jason, with the number of years he's had in the league, that he brings us that composure that we need. He's a little more confident out there than some of our guys. So when the games are close, we don't have enough of those guys out there yet to be able to take control.

"We're definitely getting better, but definitely our immaturity has cost us some games."


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