Rush, Roughnecks get ready for war on the floor

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:46 PM ET

EDMONTON - The National Lacrosse League has seen its version of the Battle of Alberta before, but Sunday will be the first playoff version between the two rivals, which is shaping up to be an all-out war.

The Edmonton Rush will face their first playoff opponent in their history when they travel to the Saddledome for a 1 p.m. game against the defending-champion Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday.

“I think this is something that’s really special for this organization and it’s been a long time coming, I feel,” said Small, from St. Catharines, Ont. “There’s not one team in this conference that we haven’t beaten, so it’s really up in the air with what can happen in the playoffs.”

And it doesn’t take a seasoned veteran to realize a rivalry exists between the two teams.

“Yeah, for sure,” Small said. “It’s more brought up in the media than guys on the team, but we kind of do things our way and they kind of do things their way and sometimes we don’t see eye to eye with them. I’m sure they say the same about us.

“But overall, it’s just been a great matchup.”

One that’s come down to a tiebreaker situation to determine playoff positioning as both teams finished with equal 10-6 records, but the Roughnecks were ahead 2-1 on the season series.

But with their most important meeting of the season still to come, it doesn’t exactly leave a bitter taste in the Rush’s collective mouth.

“I don’t think about it too much. It would have been nice to have a first-round home game against them, but I know they’re putting together some buses to take some fans from here down there,” Small said. “Obviously, there’s always a little bit of a home-floor advantage but I think we’re looking past that and I think we can beat them on their floor, for sure.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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