Alive with five

DEREK VAN DIEST, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

Jimmy Quinlan had six days to bask in his outstanding season debut.

But he's not one to rest on his laurels.

"It just happened to be a night where they may have been keying on some of the newer guys and it allowed me more floor space," Quinlan said.

"It's just one of those things with the weapons we have on the team it could be anyone's night to get five goals."

Quinlan's five goals paced the Edmonton Rush to a 13-12 victory over the Philadelphia Wings last week in the team's National Lacrosse League season opener.

Tonight the Rush play host to the Calgary Roughnecks (7 p.m.) at Rexall Place in their second game of the year.

"I have to approach this game the same way I approached that game against Philadelphia," Quinlan said.

"I wasn't expecting to score five goals. I was expecting to get my opportunities and trying to cash in on them."

Quinlan had the Midas touch against the Wings. He was also the beneficiary of a couple of excellent feeds from newcomers Chris Gill and Dan Stroup.

"I'm just going to go out there and play the same game I always play," Quinlan said.

"If the opportunities present themselves and I'm getting the matchups that are beneficial to the team, then I'm going to look to take advantage of those opportunities."

Last year Quinlan finished the season with 20 goals.

The five gaols in one game was a career high for the local product.

And after a night like that he was ready to get back on the floor the next day.

Instead he had to wait a week.

"You always want to get back at it," Quinlan said. "But at the same time, the time off gives you time to re-evaluate the game film and see what I did well and what I did wrong."

Heading into the season, all the talk was of the Rush's acquisitions of Gill, Stroup, Jason Wulder and Ryan O'Connor. The four were supposed to boost the team's offence.

Lost in the excitement, however, was the fact the team still had a pretty good sniper in Quinlan.

He did score 26 goals through 24 games in his first two season in the league.

He was also the only player to register at least one point in every game for the Rush last season.

Having played the Rush four times last year and twice this preseason, you can bet the Roughnecks know all about Quinlan.

"I think (tonight's) game is going to come down to special teams and a big part of special teams is execution," Quinlan said.

"Whoever executes our system more efficiently and more effectively should be the team that comes out on top at the end."

Calgary heads into tonight's game having played their season opener last night hosting the San Jose Stealth.

"You may see an advantage late in the fourth quarter if they have tired legs," Quinlan said. "But a lot of times in this league you can get by on adrenalin, so if they get a big lead and they get rolling, then it probably won't be a factor.

"I think if we can get on them early, and get a lead, then maybe they'll start thinking about having played (last) night.

Other than that there's not too much to gain from it. They should be sharp, having played the night before their sticks will be raring to go."


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