Rough one for Rush

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:13 PM ET

Supermodel Brooke Burke came all the way to Edmonton to see her first lacrosse game.

Funny thing was that the Edmonton Rush played like it was the first game.

Burke could have walked onto the Rexall Place floor wearing a potato sack and paper bag getup and she still would have looked better than the Rush.

After showing a few gradual signs of improvement during a painful first year in the NLL, the Rush hit every branch on the ugly tree as they stumbled into their worst performance of the year.

SPANKED

The Rush (1-11) were dealt a 16-9 spanking by the Calgary Roughnecks (6-4) before an announced crowd of 11,289.

Not only was it an embarrassing defeat for the Rush, they allowed the Roughnecks to earn a measure of revenge after Calgary surrendered the Edmonton's lone win at the Saddledome exactly one month earlier.

"It's not a night we can go in there and tell the guys how proud we are of their effort," offered Rush head coach Paul Day.

"All we expect is an honest effort and that wasn't an honest effort from 16 guys. Some of these guys have to realize that they're fighting for jobs. Sometimes coaches are like elephants - we have long memories."

Whatever the Rush had for a game plan didn't include such an dismal collapse.

"Typical us, we came out firing and then thought we could coast the rest of the way," said the Rush's Ted Jenner. "They out-hustled and outran for the first three quarters and then the fourth quarter it was just too late for us."

The Rush started out well with two early goals, including Randy Daly's power-play tally, but Calgary rattled off five straight goals over final four minutes of the first quarter to take a 5-2 lead.

Calgary's offence needed only 45 seconds of second-quarter time to continue their torching of the Rush. Andrew McBride's shorthanded goal sparked a second five-goal outburst by the Roughnecks that included a pair by Lewis Ratcliff who had already burned the Rush for 18 points in the first three meetings between the club.

How bad was the second quarter for the Rush? Ryan McNish, "Corporal Punishment" who is stationed at the Edmonton Garrison, galloped unmolested through the heart of the defence and popped in his first goal of the season.

McNish wasn't alone in the finding the cage for the first time against a woeful Rush act as Andrew McBride and Rob Kirkby also got in on the act.

"We wanted to prove something," said McNish. "This shows if we play a full 60 minutes no team in the league can keep up with us."

The third quarter was no prettier for the Rush. They were held off the scoreboard until Mat Giles found the net with 21 seconds left in the frame. And Calgary's offence didn't let up, taking advantage of countless fumbles and brain cramps by the Rush.

STAY POSITIVE

"I want to be positive and we want the fans to keep coming out but I guess our effort wasn't there," said the Rush's Jamey Bowen.

"They played good and you can't look past them but I don't think we fulfilled our part."

Brad Dairon led the Rush with a hat-trick while Daly added two. Jimmy Quinlan, Kevin Howard and Kerry Susheski also scored for Edmonton. Ratcliff finished with four to pace the Roughnecks, who beat Edmonton goalie Pat Campbell and Dwight Maetche for eight goals apiece.

QUICK STICKS: A handful of Detroit Red Wings were on hand for the game including Brendan Shanahan, who played junior lacrosse in Ontario and is a shareholder in the Toronto Rock. Shanahan played midget lacrosse against Rush head coach Paul Day.


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