Un-caped crusader

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

It's fitting Curtis Palidwor showed up to save the day on "Superhero Night."

All he was missing was the cape.

Last night in front of an announced crowd of 10,438 at Rexall Place, the Edmonton Rush's newest acquisition entered the game in place of starting goaltender Pat Campbell and made 42 saves in an 11-9 win over the Arizona Sting.

"To be honest I didn't expect to play tonight," said Palidwor. "It's been such a whirlwind last couple of days with being traded and trying to get everything organized just to get here.

"We went out for the first short-handed situation and I had to ask the guys whether we played a box or a diamond. It was such a new thing. I didn't expect to play but I thought it went well."

Palidwor got the call before he had a chance to get settled on the bench in a backup role.

The Sting scored on their first shot. And their second. And their third. And their fourth.

That was it for Campbell, who's been given the hook in the last three outings and may have just lost his starting job.

"It was a great debut," said Rush coach/GM Paul Day. "We saw it a couple of times last year and I saw him in the championships in 2004. He was the difference for Calgary in 2004 and he won them the championship."

The Vancouver native had played the four previous seasons with the Calgary Roughnecks and was the MVP of the finals in their title run.

He was left unprotected for the expansion draft and was selected by the New York Titans, but the prospect of flying across the continent every weekend didn't appeal to Palidwor and he requested a trade west. He was sent to Edmonton in exchange for first-round draft pick.

CROWD APPROVAL

He made his first save last night to the roaring approval of those in attendance.

Then he made another and another as the Rush clawed their way back in the contest.

"All I was hoping was that the first shot was going to hit me so we could get the ball rolling," Palidwor said. "The first shot hit me right in the arm, and I was 'Okay that was a solid save' and we went from there."

Consecutive goals by Chris McElroy, Jamey Bowen and Chris Gill turned a potential blowout into a game. At the end of the first quarter the Rush were down 5-4.

Then it was an 8-6 Rush by halftime.

Jimmy Quinlan scored with four-tenths of a second left on the clock.

"I don't think we were very good tonight," said Sting head coach Bob Hamley.

"Plain and simple I thought we were awful. We got to Pat Campbell and Curtis played very well. However I didn't think we shot the ball very well."

CUT THE LEAD

Stroup's goal 39 seconds into the second half increased the Rush lead to 9-6.

In the fourth, down 11-7, the Sting threw everything they had at the Rush's new goaltender.

They cut the lead to two with just under four minutes left, making for some tense moments late.

However the home team was able to hold on to improve their record to 2-3. Next weekend the teams do it again in Arizona.

"I thought tonight we competed and we played our game plan," said Day. "That's the first time where I thought we played our game instead of playing someone else's game."


Videos

Photos