Edmonton Rush head coach and general manager Bob Hamley probably deserved better.
A better effort from his club, a better result and a better homecoming facing a good friend in Colorado Mammoth head coach Bob McMahon.
The Rush failed to show up last night in Denver for the first game of a National Lacrosse League home-and-home series against the Mammoth, losing 15-4.
"We just got outclassed," said Hamley, who started the year as the Mammoth's assistant coach. "They were prepared and hungry and our guys just weren't. It's very frustrating. But the good news is that we're heading home and we've been pretty good at home as of late."
The two teams will face each other again tonight (7:30 p.m.) at Rexall Place. It's the second last game of the season for the Rush, who close out the year by hosting the Calgary Roughnecks next weekend.
"It's very important to the organization that we step it up," Hamley said.
"The last three games have been embarrassing and we have to be better."
Jimmy Quinlan opened the scoring just under four minutes into the contest to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead. But from that point on, it was all Colroado.
Jamie Shewchuk scored for the Mammoth just 47 seconds after Quinlan's marker. It was the first of three he tallied in the opening quarter.
Nick Carlson, Brian Langtry and former Rush forward Jason Wulder added the others to give the home squad a 6-1 lead after the opening 15 minutes. After Jed Prossner made it 7-1 early in the second, Rush starting goaltender Curtis Palidwor got the hook and was replaced by Matt King.
Former Rush forward Chris Gill, Wulder, Langtry and Carlson added four more goals in the quarter to take an 11-1 lead into the halftime break.
Gavin Prout, Shewchuk and Prossner extended the lead in the third quarter. Shewchuk's goal was the eighth power-play goal of the night for the Mammoth, who finished 8-for-12 with the man advantage.
"We've been bad all year (penalty-killing) and we struggled again tonight,"Hamley said. "But their power play is pretty good. Prout is one of the elite players in the league, and he runs it very well."
Brenden Thenhaus, Mike Grimes and Mike Hominuck had the other Rush goals.