Playoff dreams done

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

PORTLAND -- The Edmonton Rush never exp x to roll over. And they didn't.

In fact for a team with only three wins heading into last night's contest and out of the playoff hunt, the LumberJax were very good, played extremely hard and spoiled the Rush's big night with a 14-10 win.

HOPES WERE DASHED

Combined with a 12-11 win by the Calgary Roughnecks in Arizona last night, the Rush's playoff hopes were dashed.

When Calgary visits Rexall Place tonight in the regular-season finale, all that will be on the line is pride.

"For a team that's supposed to be desperate, they played a

lot more desperate then we did," said Rush head coach and general manager Paul Day. "We have to out-work everybody that we play. There were times where we did that tonight, coming back, tying it up and then going ahead. But all in all, they out-worked us."

Playing in front of their largest crowd of the season - due in part to a $1 ticket promotion - the LumberJax had their best game of the year.

They took control of the contest in the second half and forced the Rush to play from behind.

Eventually the Rush did tie the game and then took the lead, but five consecutive goals by the LumberJax at the end proved to be Edmonton's undoing.

"When we took the lead, we then went on the power play and that was the time where we needed to bury them, but they came back and scored," Day said. "In the fourth quarter they ran us. We didn't do a good job defending the

transition game and that may have been the difference."

Jimmy Quinlan and Randy Daly each scored a pair for the Rush in the first half while A.J. Shannon added the other.

However it was the LumberJax who went into the halftime break up 7-5 thanks to goals late in the second quarter by Richard Morgan and Bruce Alexander.

After Quinlan scored his third of the game early in the second half to cut the lead to one, the Rush took a pair of simultaneous penalties which cost them.

Jamie Roy was sent off for Roughing and Jason Wulder took a tripping penalty giving the LumberJax a two-man advantage.

They went on to score twice, the first through Ryan Powell and the other by Tyler Heavenor giving the LumberJax a 9-6 lead.

"Their power-play was very good tonight," Day said. "They got one four-on-three which is tough to defend and they got one five-on-three which is very tough to defend."

Dan Stroup and Daly responded for the Rush before the end of the quarter cutting the deficit to 9-8 heading into the last 15 minutes.

And what a final quarter it was.

Chris Gill scored to tie the game, essentially taking LumberJax goaltender Matt King out behind the net while chasing for a loose ball, then depositing it into the empty cage.

Then Quinlan gave the Rush the lead, scoring while almost getting decapitated.

From there the teams traded chances back and forth, until Portland tied the game. Then they went ahead. And then scored again and again and again to run away with the contest.

"We weren't even thinking of being a spoiler," said LumberJax forward Brodie Merrill. "We just wanted to go out there and play. We just wanted to take the opportunity to play and go out there as work as hard as we can and try and get the win."

SEASON FINALE

Despite the loss and the disappointment of not making the playoff, Day is looking for a good effort from his club in the season finale. A big crowd is expected at Rexall Place.

"It's going to be a big night for us, there is going to be great energy in our building," Day said.

"We're going to leave this loss here. We have one game left and we haven't been at home for a while.

"It's going to be a great effort by us."


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