True believers

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

SAN JOSE -- Thinking you can win is one thing. Truly believing it is another.

Heading into last night's contest against the San Jose Stealth, the Edmonton Rush have turned into believers.

They're convinced they can win their remaining games and qualify for the National Lacrosse League playoffs.

BIGGEST GAME

"I think our biggest game of the year was beating Arizona at home earlier this season," said Rush head coach and general manager Paul Day.

"We then went back to Arizona the next week and played well there despite losing. It was a game that could have gone either way.

"After that the guys really started believing in themselves."

The win over the Arizona Sting at Rexall Place on Feb. 10 turned it around for the second-year franchise.

It was their second win of the season and it put a need to a three-game losing skid.

It also helped erase the memory of a frustrating 1-15 inaugural season.

Going into last night's game against the Stealth they were 6-6 and a win away from creating a three-way tie for third place in the West Division.

They entered the contest on the heels of a big win, on the road, over the Calgary Roughnecks.

"It's hard to explain why we have so much confidence right now," said Rush forward Chris Gill.

"We kind of gave away a few games at the beginning of the year and if we hadn't given away some of those games, maybe we'd have the confidence that we're feeling right now earlier in the season.

HITTING THE ROAD

"I think hitting the road and being together as a group has also helped us respond a little better. It seems like we're playing for each other right now."

The Rush haven't played a home game since beating the Toronto Rock on March 16.

Since then they've been on the road, with six consecutive games scheduled away from Rexall Place.

Next week the Rush close out the year with a trip to Portland to face the LumberJax, and a final encounter against the Roughnecks at Rexall Place.

"We had a great break at the all-star break. We're a team that travels a lot and we really needed it," said Day.

"We came out of the break, looking at the second half of the season thinking that there was no team that we couldn't beat down the stretch.

"Obviously the young guys have gained some experience from last year and we've also been able to bring in some veterans that have helped out as well."

The Rush were on a two-game winning steak going into San Jose.

It's the first time in franchise history they've put together two consecutive victories. Had they not blown a five-goal lead in New York last week it would have been three straight.

Regardless, they've been able to put themselves back in playoff contention and now control their own destiny.

"If we just play the way our style is designed to be and keep to our systems, we're competitive with any team in the league," Gill said.

"We're confident the whole way that we can match up with any team in this league."


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