Mugged in New York

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

Chris Gill appeared to have won the game, scoring the go-ahead goal with 42 seconds left.

But this is the National Lacrosse League, where goals can be scored in bunches. And Gill plays for the Edmonton Rush, for whom wins never come easy - even after building an early 5-0 lead against the New York Titans yesterday.

"I thought we did a good job scoring on the power-play with under a minute left," said Rush head coach and general manager Paul Day. "But them coming back and scoring on a six-on-five and then off the ensuing draw was a back-breaker."

It could also prove to be a playoff eliminator for the Rush, who fell 11-10 at the Nassau Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.

Mike McLellan scored with the goaltender on the bench for an extra attacker, just 20 seconds after Gill's goal to tie the game for the Titans. Then Jeff Spano netted the winner, snaring the ball off the ensuing faceoff, then running down the floor and beating Rush goaltender Curtis Palidwor high over the shoulder with 15 seconds remaining.

"They ran a good play on the six-on-five to tie the game," Day said. "It was actually a play that we watched on video the night before, but we still weren't able to stop it.

"Faceoffs are key, and the Titans were able pick up the loose ball. Generally a player will pull that out and set up a play.

"I think he (Spano) took us by surprise by going to the net and scoring on a transition play."

The Rush had a final opportunity to tie the game, gaining control off the ensuing faceoff and calling a timeout to set up a play. But they weren't able to get off a shot.

With the loss, the Rush fall to 4-7 on the season and remain fifth in the NLL West Division behind the Calgary Roughnecks and San Jose Stealth.

"We got a bit of help (Friday) night with Calgary losing to Portland," Day said. "They have six losses now. We have to make sure we chip away and we have to get that win (today)."

Yesterday's game was the first of two weekend encounters for the Rush. Today they're in Chicago to face the Shamrox.

And despite the loss in New York, the Rush can still pull within striking distance of Calgary.

"It's good that we're getting right back at it," Day said. "We're going to leave that loss on the bus, leave all our negatives on the bus and move forward."

Regardless of the end result, there were plenty of positives against New York. Edmonton built an early 5-0 lead and didn't trail until Spano's dagger in the fourth quarter.

A.J. Shannon also scored his first goal for the Rush in his first outing of the season after returning from a knee injury.

Dan Stroup, Jamie Roy, and Gill each had a pair, while Mac Allen, Jamey Bowen and Jimmy Quinlan added the others.

"New York is one of the highest-scoring teams in the league, so keeping them down to 11 was a positive," Day said. "Our special teams in general were good, we scored two power-play goals and two short-handed goals. There were some positives, but we definitely have to move forward and get going."

In Chicago the Rush are facing another expansion team that's currently on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs are concerned.

"Their strength is their defence and they run the floor really well," Day said.

"We're going to have to be very responsible with the ball, which is something I thought we did against New York. We didn't give them a lot of transition chances on turnovers."

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WHO'S HOT

- MIKE MCLELLAN, TITANS: Sniped three goals, including the tying marker with 22 seconds remaining.

- RYAN BOYLE, TITANS: Two goals to go along with five assists.

- JAMEY BOWEN, RUSH: Scored a goal and chipped in with three helpers.

WHO'S NOT

- JASON WULDER, RUSH: Failed to score, and only has two goals in his last five games after notching 24 for Calgary last season.

THE GRADES

- OFFENCE: C

- DEFENCE: C

- GOALTENDING: C

- POWER PLAY: B

- PENALTY KILLING: B

- DISCIPLINE: B

- EFFORT: B

THE SUMMARY

TITANS 11, RUSH 10

FIRST QUARTER

1. Edmonton, Stroup (Wulder, Howard) 3:27

2. Edmonton, Shannon (Allen, Wulder) 4:43

3. Edmonton, Allen (unassisted) 10:39

4. Edmonton, Gill (Bowen, Finck) 12:08 sh

5. Edmonton, Roy (unassisted) 12:15 sh

6. New York, Boyle (Mundorf, Schindler) 12:56

7. New York, Mundorf (Boyle, McLellan) 14:03

Penalties - Allen Edm (roughing, double-minor), Peyser NY (roughing) 8:05, McElroy Edm (illegal cross-check) 10:49.

SECOND QUARTER

8. New York, Maddalena (Spano) :31

9. Edmonton, Bowen (Shannon, Quinlan) 11:09 pp

10. New York, Maddalena (Boyle, Park) 13:54

11. New York, Boyle (Schindler, Maddalena) 14:22

Penalties - Turner Edm (holding0 3:07, Tower NY (illegal substitution) 6:15, Spano NY (illegal cross-check) 10:57.

THIRD QUARTER

12. Edmonton, Roy (Turner, Melville) 8:08

13. Edmonton, Stroup (McElroy, Quinlan) 11:05

14. New York, Park (unassisted) 11:13

Penalties - Peyser NY (roughing), Turner Edm (roughing, unsportmanlike conduct) 14:44

FOURTH QUARTER

15. New York, McLellan (Maddalena, Boyle) :25 pp

16. Edmonton, Quinlan (Bowen, Stroup) 1:05 pp

17. New York, McLellan (Zash, Boyle) 4:29 pp

18. New York, Mundorf (Spano, Park) 8:26

19. Edmonton, Gill (Bowen, Quinlan) 14:18

20. New York, McLellan (Boyle, Zash) 14:38

21. New York, Spano (Ghedina) 14:45

Penalties - Galbraith NY (checking from behind) :51, Williams Edm (checking from behind) 4:11, Brzeski NY (checking from behind) 5:55, Peyser NY (checking from behind) 13:55.

Goaltenders (shots, saves)

Edmonton: Palidwor (45, 34), New York: Vinc (39, 29).

Attendance: 6,432 at New York.

NEXT UP

- CHICAGO SHAMROX: Today, 2 p.m., Sears Center (Team 1260)


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