What a rush.
Randy Daly scored with seven-tenths of a second left on the clock last night to give the Edmonton Rush a 13-12 victory over the Philadelphia Wings in front of an announced crowd of 9,417 at Rexall Place.
The win was the first at home for the second-year National Lacrosse League franchise that went 1-15 in its inaugural season.
"It's one of those things where it's sort of a broken play and I happen to be at the right place at the right time," Daly said. "I kind of struggled a little bit throughout most of the game, but if you're going to bury one, I guess that's the one to bury."
Daly's goal brought a seesaw battle which to an exciting conclusion, with the Rush coming back from a three-goal deficit on two separate occasions.
Jimmy Quinlan led the way for the Rush with five goals, while Chris Gill, one of the team's key off-season acquisitions, had four.
"I think we had good composure at the end to get last shot," said Rush head coach and general manger Paul Day. "That's important in lacrosse to get last shot. We were able to get a loose ball and we used a time out to relax and get that shot."
With 23 seconds left on the clock and the scored tied 12-12, the original plan was to isolate Dan Stroup along the boards and let him take the ball to the net.
'RAN OUT OF GAS'
The veteran got the ball but was knocked down on the way to the net. Daly picked it up in front of the net and fired it past Wings goalie Jay Preece.
"I thought we ran out of gas at the end," said Wings head coach Lindsay Sanderson. "We didn't have a lot of energy left on the defensive side. Edmonton broke in there a couple of times and got to the net and that was the ball game."
The Rush scored five straight in the fourth quarter to battle back from 10-7.
Gill scored two within 44 seconds to put the Rush up 12-10 with 2:20 left in the fourth quarter.
However a quick goal by Geoff Snider off the ensuing draw and another by Kyle Wailes 26 seconds later set the stage for Daly's heroics.
"Last year if we were down that much we may have not come back," Day said. "And if they scored two quick goals to tie it, we may not have had that composure to get that last shot."
Rush fans had to wait until the second quarter for the team's first goal of the season. At halftime, the team was down 5-2 and it would have been more had it not been for the strong play of goaltender Pat Campbell.
DEFENCE AND GOALIE
"Our offence didn't show up in the first half," Gill said. "Our defence and our goalkeeping kept us in it.
"But we showed a lot of heart and character to come back and (we) pressed them. I guess it shows that no lead is too big to come back. For a team that only won one game last year, that says a lot."
Gill and Quinlan initiated the comeback in the second half as the Rush tied the game with three straight goals.
But the Wings went and restored their three-goal lead soon after.
"We battled all night," Quinlan. "Last year this was probably one of those games that we would have let slip away. But when we were up 12-10, our veterans were telling us to settle down. Even when they tied it up, they were saying the same thing. We knew if we got a chance we could put the ball in the net."