NLL worst Rush to face best Mammoth

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:01 PM ET

EDMONTON - It’s the best against the worst as the Edmonton Rush host the Colorado Mammoth Friday at Rexall Place.

But don’t scratch anything under the ‘W’ column just yet.

“I think they’ve played extremely well in recent weeks,” said Rush head coach Derek Keenan. “They have a very talented offensive group of young players as well as some veteran guys in there.”

A win would go a long way to securing a home playoff game for the Rush, who have been on the positive side of a handful of close games this year.

“We’re fortunate to be where we’re at. We’ve won a lot of one-goal games and overtime games,” said Keenan, whose squad is coming off a pair of sudden-death victories over the Washington Stealth and Minnesota Swarm last week.

That makes for five one-goal wins for the Rush on the season.

“I think that’s really a testament when you look down our roster and through our dressing room at all the quality veteran leaders and guys that we have in our corner and right from the top down to the bottom in goaltending,” said backup goalie Brandon Atherton, who was named the NLL Defensive Player of the Week after coming in in relief of Matt Disher in both wins last week. “I think everyone understands what it takes to win in this league. It takes 60 minutes, sometimes more if need be.”

Nothing will change in their preparation Friday for the Mammoth, who bring a league-low 3-9 record in tow.

“We’re certainly not taking anything lightly at all,” Keenan said. “We know that they’re going to come in with pride and with still a chance to make playoffs if some strange things happen, so we’re going to be prepared.”

A Rush win would effectively end the Mammoth’s season, knocking them from playoff contention.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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