Newlook Rush no longer a pushover

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:07 AM ET

There is a strange new twist to the lacrosse version of the Battle of Alberta.

Suddenly, the balance of power has shifted.

For the first time since they came into the league, the Edmonton Rush will face the Calgary Roughnecks and boast a winning record. It's still early in the season but clearly the Rush (2-1) are improved.

"It adds to the rivalry," said Roughnecks head coach Dave Pym of the rejuvenated Rush.

"It puts a bit more pressure on us but we have a lot of seasoned vets who have played in the biggest games you can play in."

The Rush have a rebuilt offence with the likes of Gavin Prout, Ryan Ward, Ryan Powell and Dean Hill, while their defence now boasts former Portland LumberJax star Brodie Merrill.

Ward leads the team with 10 goals in three games, while Prout has 12 assists and Merrill has 11 helpers.

The Riggers (1-2) know they can throw out their 10-3 lifetime record against the provincial rivals, which includes a 7-1 mark at Rexall Place.

"They have a much more dynamic, experienced offence with more talent than they've had in the past," Pym said.

The Rush got six players from Portland after that franchise disbanded and new GM-head coach Derek Keenan made a deal with the Rochester Knighthawks to get a marquee name in Prout.

Despite all the changes, the Riggers have faced all these players in the NLL before.

"The nice thing is we're familiar with each other, even with new coaches and new players," Pym said.

"We still have a good idea of what their tendencies are."


Videos

Photos