Rock roll over Rush

JASON HILLS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

So much for hopes of a three-game win streak.

The Edmonton Rush entered the second quarter against the Toronto Rock last night with some confidence, but by the time they walked off the carpet for the half-time break, they were probably wondering what hit them.

Toronto dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Rush 7-1 and pacing their way to a 14-9 victory. The loss drops the Rush record to 2-7 on the season.

"We lost a lot of battles and we couldn't match their run. Lacrosse is a game of runs and we couldn't generate one," said Rush head coach Bob Hamley.

"Our offense was stagnant in the second quarter. We kind of reverted back to our old ways in this game."

Josh Sanderson, who is one of the key offensive generators for Toronto, scored twice in the opening quarter, but Chris Gill and Lindsay Plunkett responded for the Rush to send the game into a 2-2 deadlock after the first quarter.

ROCK DEPTH

Toronto's offence is one of the best in the NLL and a lot of attention is given to the likes of Sanderson and Blaine Manning who are the two top offensive leaders on the Rock. But the Rock have depth and Aaron Wilson can sometimes fly under the radar.

Wilson and newly-acquired forward Matt Taylor made the Rush pay. Wilson scored four times, and Taylor scored three. The former Colorado Mammoth has six goals in two games for Toronto.

"Guys like Sanderson and Manning demand a lot of attention, but they have a lot of complementary players that can do damage," said Hamley. "Aaron (Wilson) looked like he was open every shift and he hurt us tonight."

Toronto got goals from Cam Woods, Wilson, Casey Biernes and Rob Marshall, before the Rush scored their first goal of the second quarter.

Dan Stroup's goal was the only highlight for the Rush in the rough second quarter. The 39-year-old former Toronto Rock came out from behind the net and snapped a shot behind his back that beat Rock goaltender Bob Watson over the shoulder.

"We were kept to the perimeter way too much tonight. We need to get to the middle and go hard to the net," said Hamley, who is now 2-2 behind the bench of the Rush.

"Bob Watson will eat you up if your going to shoot on him from 40-feet out and we did way too much of that."

The Rush outscored Toronto 4-3 in the third quarter. Steve Hutchins, Mike Accursi and Plunkett, with his second of the game, got the Rush within five going into the fourth quarter.

But falling behind so early in the game made it extremely tough for the Rush to form any type of comeback.

"It's frustrating when you're struggling, but we just have to try and remain positive, and that was our focus in the second half," said Plunkett.

"We hold our own fate, every game remaining this season is against a divisional opponent and we still feel we can make the playoffs."

PALIDWOR SOLID

Rush goaltender Curtis Palidwor (2-4) put in another solid performance making 38 saves in his third-straight start. Watson (6-3) made 43 stops. Both goaltenders were very busy, facing 52 shots a piece.

"(Curtis) Palidwor played great tonight; we need to get on the same page and help out our goalie more," said Plunkett."We can't expect him to stand on his head like he did and not help him out."

With a 2-7 record, the Rush fall 3.5 games back of Colorado, which leads the West division with a 6-4 record. They are just one game back of Portland for the final playoff spot and they have two games in hand.

Chris Gill added his second of the game early in the fourth quarter and Mike Grimes scored a nice goal off a transition break to round out the scoring for the Rush.

"We weren't good tonight. This was a bad game for us. We will try to learn from it, we'll take this one on the chin and move on," said Hamley.


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