The goal is more goaaallls

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

In a game that sells itself on non-stop action and scoring, the Edmonton Rush delivered on the former but too often came up short on the latter in their inaugural NLL season a year ago.

And even with that - the Rush scored a league-worst 150 goals on the way to a 1-15 record, including a 0-8 slate at home - Edmonton coach and GM Paul Day saw his expansion club average better than 10,000 fans a night at Rexall Place.

LOT MORE GOING FOR THEM

With the start of the team's second NLL season just weeks away, Day's got a lot more to pitch in terms of goal celebrations and, you'd think, results this time around, so what kind of action might his outfit get at the turnstiles in 2007?

He'll find out soon enough.

"That's the biggest thing that we lacked," said Day of an off-season in which adding firepower was the priority. "We were in a lot of one-goal games last year.

"Several games came down to the fourth quarter and we didn't have the offence and the power play.

"Generally, it seems the guys who get protected (in the expansion draft) are the offensive guys. When we were building, after looking around at the guys who were available, we thought we'd go with younger defenceman, the guys who had an upside."

Nothing sells like winning, and after losing five games by a single goal a year ago, the Rush look capable of doing more of it thanks to an attack that has been bolstered by a quartet of proven goal-scorers.

With the additions of NLL veterans Chris Gill, Dan Stroup and Ryan O'Connor from the Chicago Shamrox and Jason Wulder from the Calgary Roughnecks, Day and the Rush should win some of those nail-biters,

"It's such an entertaining game, but more people come when you're winning," Day said. "I think people showed last year that they'll come out because it's exciting, but they need to see some wins."

Gill, 34, has scored 265 goals in 131 NLL games through 10 seasons, including 29 goals with Colorado last season. Stroup, 37, has 235 goals in 136 career NLL games.

Gill and Stroup combined for 29 power-play goals with the Mammoth last season - that's just two fewer than the 31 the offensively challenged Rush scored as a team. Edmonton's power play was dead-last in 2006.

The Rush went 9-for-10 on the power play in a 19-16 loss to Calgary in their first pre-season game last week. Gill scored five goals with two assists, while Stroup tallied 2-1-3.

"The guys were really good," Day said of grinding it out a year ago. "They never quit. We had a lot of young guys who showed up right until the end and didn't mail it in.

"The guys we've added - O'Connor has won two championships with Toronto, Stroup and Gill have seven championships between them and Wulder won in 2004 with New York."

RUSH OPEN THE SEASON JAN. 6

With the Rush opening the regular season Jan. 6 when the Philadelphia Wings come calling, Day is confident this edition of the team will put enough balls in the net to improve on that 1-15 mark.

For all the promotions planned this season after a campaign in which they carved out a niche a year ago despite a modest record, wins are the steak that goes with the sizzle.

"Especially in this city," said Day.

PERSONNEL NEWS

Local product Jordan Cornfield, 24, who was something of a surprise cut when the Rush roster was trimmed Tuesday, is expected to sign with the Colorado Mammoth rather than start the season as one of three players on Edmonton's practice roster.

Forward Kevin Howard, 27, might start the season on the injured list because of a broken hand, which would open up a spot on the 23-man roster for Chris Stachniak.


Videos

Photos