Rush drop a heartbreaker in OT

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:37 AM ET

SEATTLE — The stars had aligned perfectly.

Heading into their National Lacrosse League semifinal against the Washington Stealth, the Edmonton Rush knew they would be hosting the championship game if they could pull out a victory.

They couldn’t.

The Rush dropped a heartbreaker 12-11 in overtime to the Stealth on Saturday in front of 4,242 fans at the Key Arena bringing their season to an end.

Paul Rabil scored the overtime winner eight seconds into the extra frame, sending the Stealth into the final.

“The guys are pretty heartbroken,” said Rush head coach and general manager Derek Keenan. “They played so hard all year. That was a typical game for us, but we’ve been the team that’s made those type of plays.

“Their kid made a really athletic play, but our guys stuck with it right till the end. Unfortunately we never got the opportunity to win the game, we never got the ball in overtime.”

The Rush were forced to chase the game early on and weren’t able to pull even until the dying seconds of the contest.

Trailing by two late, Corey Small pulled them within a goal scoring with 55.3 seconds left to give the Rush one last shot. Andy Secore took advantage of it scoring with 20 seconds left as his shot trickle through the legs of Stealth goaltender Tyler Richards to send the game into the extra session.

The Rush, however were unable to complete the comeback as the Stealth took control of the faceoff in overtime as Rabil scooped it up and headed toward the Rush net.

He was able to get around the Rush’s last defender, put a fake on goaltender Matt Disher and lift a shot over him.

Had the Rush been able to complete the comeback, they would have hosted the Toronto Rock in the final. Instead the Stealth will play host to the Rock in the final.

“They’re a good group of guys and the progress they’ve made this season has been tremendous,” Keenan said of his team. “It doesn’t help though. The guys are pretty heartbroken, no matter what anybody says.

“But it was a great lacrosse game. Once we get it to overtime, it can go either way. Considering our record in overtime and our comebacks an everything this season, I guess our luck finally ran out.”

The Stealth took control of the contest early going on a five-goal run through the end of the first quarter and into the second.

Disher, who was the main reason the Rush were able to upset the Calgary Roughnecks last weekend, had a shaky start against the Stealth.

The Rush goaltender was juggling the ball like a circus performer early in the contest. He literally handed the Stealth their third goal as Jeff Zywicki stole the ball from Disher and then tucked it into the net on a wraparound.

However, in the second, Disher was outstanding, keeping his team within striking distance by making a number of outstanding saves.

“Disher did everything we could ask of him in the last two games,” said Rush forward Ryan Ward. “He was getting peppered in Calgary and he was getting peppered tonight. Those are two pretty high-powered offences and he really kept us in the game.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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