Rush put 'special' in teams

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

CALGARY — It might be why they call them ‘special teams.’

When Edmonton Rush forward Andy Secore scored with the man advantage in the fourth quarter, it put an end to the Calgary Roughnecks’ comeback effort that saw them score three goals in 59 seconds to pull within one goal of tying the game.

Tracey Keulusky, Nolan Heavenor and Dan Dobbie scored at the turn of the fourth quarter to trail 7-6 with a full 14 minutes to go and all the momentum on their side.

But Secore’s goal — his first of two on the afternoon — was the first of a stretch of four that cushioned the Rush’s first playoff victory in franchise history.

“The biggest part, I thought, was they got two early in the fourth there in the first minute, and we held them off and killed a penalty, then we responded,” said Rush head coach Derek Keenan.

Leading the Rush with seven power-play goals on the season, Secore predicted earlier in the week that the game would come down to special teams.

“Just because of the battles we’ve had with them all year, right?” said Secore. “Special teams are what you have to capitalize on in this league.”

Shut down PP

The Rush held the Roughnecks scoreless on four power-play opportunities while scoring on all three of their own man-advantage situations.

“We capitalized on opportunities and Matt Disher was great for us,” Secore said. “I think he was the backbone that held us in tonight.

“We shut them down, it’s tough to contain their offence. We contained them to one or two goals and then we got a big goal and that’s how I thought we shut down their momentum swing.”

The game began with two power-play goals by the Rush to take an early lead.

“Once we got that lead we realized we were in this game and we just have to hold that lead,” Secore said.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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