Colorado mountain

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

Two games, two fantastic finishes, two different results.

The Edmonton Rush would do well to get involved in another close game tonight when the defending National Lacrosse League champion Colorado Mammoth pay a visit to Rexall Place.

"They're 3-0 and we kind of gave away a game last week," said Rush forward Chris Gill.

"We know they're going to be coming in with a lot of confidence.

"Playing with them last year, I know that team plays well when they have a lot of confidence. We have to be mentally focused and try not to give them any easy opportunities to take advantage of."

It'll be the first time Gill and Dan Stroup will face the Mammoth since getting plucked off their roster during the NLL expansion draft.

The two veterans were selected by the Chicago Shamrox in the draft, and then traded to the Rush.

"I don't treat it any different, to be honest," said Gill. "There are a lot of good buddies over there. But that was last year and you have to move on. That's the way this sport goes, you could be on a different team every couple of years.

"You have to take everything in stride, and I just want to beat them just like anybody else."

Beating Colorado will be a mammoth task.

They have not lost a game since April and have eight consecutive victories dating back to last season.

The Rush won their season-opener two weeks ago against Philadelphia on a last-second goal, then had a last-second goal waved off in their 13-12 loss last week to Calgary.

"We played better in the first three quarters against Calgary then we did against Philadelphia," said Rush head coach and general manager Paul Day.

"Our fourth quarter against Calgary wasn't very good, we took some penalties and they won the fourth quarter.

"All in all, we probably performed better against Calgary then we did against Philadelphia, but we didn't come away with the win."

In order to stay with the Mammoth tonight, the Rush need to put together a solid four-quarter effort.

In their opening game of the year, the Rush were held to one goal in the first quarter, and then finished strong with seven goals in the fourth.

Last week the Rush scored the first four goals of the contest in the first quarter, then were held to just one goal in the fourth.

"Any quarter you look at it, it comes down to focus," Day said.

"I think last week we had some bounces go against us in the fourth quarter which hurt us."

A bad quarter against the Mammoth could spell serious trouble for the Rush.

"You can't just focus on just one quarter," Gill said.

"It comes down to buying in for a full 60-minutes because you can't take a quarter off.

"You have to play consistent the whole way. Then when it comes down to the end of the game, is when everyone has to be on top of their game and not give away anything easily."


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