So far, it's been hurry up 'n' wait

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

It's been a case of hurry up 'n' wait for the Edmonton Rush.

As short as the preseason is in professional indoor lacrosse, the past month seems to have dragged along for many players on the revamped Rush roster.

And with 14 new faces mixed in with nine returning players, there hasn't been much opportunity to play together in game situations.

After the National Lacrosse League kiboshed a scrimmage between them and the visiting Minnesota Swarm last week, the Rush heads into its season opener Friday with just one exhibition match under their collective belt.

After dropping their sole preseason tilt to the reigning champion Calgary Roughnecks in December, the Rush is looking forward to their next competition.

"The exhibition game against Calgary was really good for that point, you get a little chemistry going on the right side with a couple guys that I've never played with before. And see what the guys on the left side like to do as well," said first-year Rush offensive player Ryan Powell, who is entering his ninth season in the league. "I think everybody's very eager to get going here. "You can only practise so much when you're later in your career and you get very anxious for (Friday's) game.

"There's nothing like an exhibition or game-type situation."

But the Rush and the Roughnecks are in different situations when it comes to their preseason focus.

"Every team except for Calgary in the West has seven new players," said returning Rush defender Ian Hawksbee, who is joined by 14 new teammates this year. "I think it's even tougher for the team as a whole trying to jell and get that chemistry going.

"Whereas Calgary, they bring back almost their whole team. They maybe have two or three new guys, so they still have that chemistry where we need to get in a few more practices and maybe another game to start creating that chemistry. It's tough to do that, but it's the nature of this league."

Rush captain Chris McElroy said the team has done what they could with the opportunity they had.

"It would be nice to have another game under our belt to get used to each other out on the floor," he said. "I've been happy with our progress. It's nice to get that first game out of the way against Calgary and see some of the things we need to work on and address those things.

"It's right into the season this weekend, so I don't think it's going to be long for our team to come together and really jell as a unit.

"Guys are ready, I know guys definitely are excited and ready to get the game underway and get things flowing. It's one thing to practise against one another and work on those things, but until you really get into the games and get the season started, that's when you really get to know where you stand as a team and the things you need to work on."

GERRY.MODDEJONGE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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