Hats off to JQ

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

It appears Jimmy Quinlan picked up a thing or two at the National Lacrosse League all-star game.

Last night Quinlan scored a hat trick and chipped in with a tough assist as the Rush defeated the Toronto Rock 12-9 in front of an announced crowd of 11,547 at Rexall Place.

"With Jimmy, he's always battling," said Rush head coach and general manager Paul Day.

"We watched video with him to show him all the good things he was doing. Jimmy is good when he's catching and shooting and did a great job taking a hit late in the game and feeding the ball."

Quinlan took part in the league's annual all-star event last week as the Rush's lone representative. Last night the local product played like an all-star, scoring a goal in each of the last three quarters to pace the Rush to their fourth win of the season.

"There's no one harder on Jimmy than Jimmy," Day said.

"He's a work in progress, he's still a pretty young guy. We had a talk with him this week and told him that he had to enjoy the game and have some fun. He's so hard on himself. Some athletes are like that, and he's a gamer."

PHYSICAL SIDE

Apart from his scoring prowess, Quinlan showed off his physical side as well.

In the fourth quarter he took a vicious open-floor hit from Rock defenceman Derek Suddons, went down, but held onto the ball, got up, then fed teammate Jason Wulder for the Rush's 10th goal of the contest.

"I've played with Derek Suddons before. I knew he's a hard hitter," Quinlan said.

"I knew he was coming, and fortunately I was able to hold on to the ball and he lost his helmet and you can't play without a helmet.

"That gave me a few seconds to get up, get up the floor and make a pass. To tell you the truth, I didn't even see Wulder's shot. I was on my way to the bench because I couldn't really breathe."

Randy Daly, Ryan O'Connor, and Chris Gill each scored a pair for the Rush. Dan Finck, added the other.

The win improved the Rush's record to 4-5 on the season and puts them back in the mix for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division.

The Rock drop to 4-6 and are in jeopardy of missing the playoff for the first time in franchise history.

"Edmonton battled hard. They have some speed and they have some stars that can hurt you and they hurt us tonight," said Rock head coach Glenn Clark.

"We generated a lot of chances, but (Curtis) Palidwor stopped a lot of shots and we weren't able to get enough by him and that was the difference maker."

The Rush goaltender made 50 saves in the contest and was especially good in the late stages of the game when the Rock threw everything they had at him.

NO TIME TO DWELL

The Rock don't have much time to dwell on the loss. They had to get on a plane this morning to host the Colorado Mammoth tonight.

The Rush meanwhile now have six games on the road before closing the season out at home against Calgary on April 14th.

"This is a huge win for us," said Daly.

"We have six road games and this is the way we want to go out on the road with a lot of confidence.

"Our fans aren't going to see us for a while so we wanted to leave them with a good feeling so they'll come out for the last game of the season."


Videos

Photos