Fresh faces see team strengths from a new perspective

GERRY MODDEJONGE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:14 AM ET

New additions to the Edmonton Rush also bring along a new perspective.

From an outsider's point of view, the team has consistently shown areas of strength that might not have shown up in records of previous years.

"They've always been very strong defensively," said forward Gavin Prout, who was acquired from the Colorado Mammoth this year.

"Their defensive core is big and strong and understands the game quite well.

"Adding guys like Brodie (Merrill) and Pat Jones in here and a few other veteran guys to the strong defensive unit already here, it can only get better.

"And (Matt) Disher back there is a great goaltender.

"That's what we can build on. They always have the cliche that defence builds championships and I think this one is really set to have a recipe for success."

New head coach Derek Keenan remembers playing against Edmonton when he was behind the bench of the Portland LumberJax.

"They always played hard at home, that's for sure. We had a hard time against (the Rush) at home," Keenan said.

"I liked a lot of the grit from guys like Chris McElroy and Jimmy Quinlan and (Ian) Hawksbee, who have that 'do whatever it takes' attitude."

Now that he's joined the Rush, Keenan is looking to build on the very feature he picked up on as an opponent.

"We needed more of it. There just weren't enough of those guys that were willing to pay the price," Keenan said.

"There's a price to be paid for success in this league and that means if you've got to get your face in front of a shot or your body in front of a shot, that's what you're going to do.

"The group that's remaining, there's a good number, but we needed more of that and I think we've done that."


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