|Andy Secore score on Roughnecks goalie Mike Poulin during the Rush home-opener Friday.
Unlike a good homing pigeon, the Edmonton Rush weren’t able to find their way back into the win column in their first game at Rexall Place after starting out the season 0-3 on the road.
The Calgary Roughnecks handed the Rush their fourth-straight loss, 15-11, Friday night in front of 8,150 fans, who got their first live look at the team since mid-April.
But the home crowd didn’t have much to cheer for from the get-go, with Calgary taking a 4-2 lead after the opening period.
“It’s nice to get that win and the two points and create a little bit of separation between us and our provincial rival but we’ve got a long way to go yet,” said Roughnecks head coach Dave Pym, whose squad improved to 3-2 and set for Saturday’s rematch in the Scotiabank Saddledome (7:30 p.m., Citytv).
Things started falling apart for the Rush 37 seconds into the second quarter, when Calgary went ahead 6-2 after Dobbie recorded a hat trick with two goals 15 seconds apart.
It set the pace for a seven-goal quarter for the Roughnecks, who took an 11-6 lead into halftime.
Outshooting their opponents 53-45, the Rush won the third period, 3-2, and matched Calgary in the fourth with three goals apiece. But any comeback they began mounting was quickly snuffed out.
“I guess we’re a little snake-bitten on offence right now,” said Rush forward Corey Small, who scored back-to-back goals in the fourth to finish with a hat-trick-powered five points. “We seemed to be clicking on offence all game with a lot of great opportunities. An inch one way or an inch the other way and the ball was going in the net.”
Instead, Roughnecks goalie Mike Poulin stopped 42 shots, while Rush goalie Matt Disher was pulled for Brandon Atherton on two occasions.
“Matt Disher stood on his head for three games and he might have been a little off (Friday) night, but that’s this league,” said Rush head coach Derek Keenan. “Poulin was really good, but I though Dish came back strong in the second half, though.
“That wasn’t why (we lost). We gave up just quality shots for the whole first half, especially in the second quarter.”
It contributed to a trio of Roughnecks earning hat tricks, led by Scott Ranger’s four goals and two assists, while Dane Dobbie had three goals and a game-high nine points. Curtis Dickson rounded things off with three goals and an assist to drop the Rush to 0-4.
Edmonton’s top performance came from forward Gavin Prout, who scored two goals and five assists.
“It’s tough. We’re 0-4 but the good thing is we’re not going to sit around for a week or two and dwell about it,” Keenan said. “We’re going to go back at it (Saturday) night down there and have more battle in us.
“Everybody, not just a smattering of guys, we need the whole group willing to get dirty and bleed and whatever you’ve got to do, it’s going to take because right now it’s not enough guys that are making that commitment to win.”
INJURY: Rush transition player Bobby McBride suffered a lower-body injury in the first half and did not return.