Stopping Mammoth's transition game a key

DEREK VAN DIEST, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

DENVER, Colorado -- In their first encounter, the Edmonton Rush got a good look at the backs of the Colorado Mammoth's jerseys.

The defending National Lacrosse League champions were seemingly always heading the other way on odd-man rushes.

Tonight when the two teams meet again (7 p.m. at the Pepsi Center in Denver), the goal for the Rush is to keep the Mammoth in front of them.

"We turned the ball over so much that first game," said Rush head coach and general manager Paul Day. "It was probably the most we turned the ball over since the early stages of the 2006 season."

Two weeks ago, the Mammoth came into Rexall Place and turned a lacrosse game into a track meet.

They ran away with the contest in the second half, out-scoring the Rush 9-3 en route to a 16-9 victory.

"The key is stopping the transition," said Rush forward Chris Gill.

"They out-transitioned us huge the last game and we didn't show up for that part of the game.

"We have to create space for ourselves and try and shut down theirs.

"Transition is a big part of this game."

According to Day, the key to shutting down the Mammoth's transition game is to work the ball down low in the offensive zone.

That way if they lose it, the Rush will still have plenty of men behind the ball as the Mammoth make their way up the floor.

"If you lose the ball in the corner, you still have three or four guys back," said Day. "If you lose the ball at the top of the floor, generally you're not going to have any protection coming back.

The only protection you have coming back is your goaltender, and really, that's what happened last game. You don't want to get into a track meet with them. You have to protect the ball."


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