January 30, 2011
Rush edged in OT
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - A 12-11 overtime loss to the Calgary Roughnecks has the Edmonton Rush in a dangerous position.
After falling to 0-5 on the season, the Rush are in danger of tying a franchise-worst start to a season the next time they step onto the floor.
In its inaugural season in 2006, the Rush went six games before coming up with their first victory — a feat they repeated again in 2008.
But they will have next weekend's bye before determining whether or not the current stable of players makes the record books for all the wrong reasons.
"It's good," Rush head coach and GM Derek Keenan said of the week off. "We've got some injuries that we've got to take care of and it's a good thing to have the bye and regroup and take a look at some things that we could do a little bit better."
It's the same approach they took heading into Saturday's game in Calgary.
"Before the game we just asked them, ‘At the end of this thing, don't have any excuses," said Keenan. "We left everything out there and we just didn't get the result. That's the bottom line.
"I think we played extremely well in all areas, except our power play."
The Rush went one-for-six with the man advantage, as Ryan Ward scored his fourth of the game on a five-on-three to open the fourth quarter with an 11-9 lead.
But it proved to be the Rush's only goal of the quarter as Calgary crawled back to life to force sudden death, where Mark Sherman scored two-and-a-half minutes in.
"It's ugly, honestly it is," Keenan said. "We had a five-minute power play, beyond that we had ample chance in the fourth quarter to put the game away and we didn't score."
Calgary's Jeff Shattler scored his second goal for a game-high seven points to bring the Roughnecks within one inside of five minutes remaining in regulation.
Rush defender Bill Greer then had a goal negated by an illegal substitution.
"If we would have got that two-goal cushion it would have been a different game," Keenan said. "We had power plays to get that cushion and could not score.
"(Saturday) night, I thought we had all the compete in us and just didn't score on the power play."
Yet they came away with three short-handed tallies to bring victory within reach.
"It's a funny game sometimes," Keenan said. "From week to week, night to night it's hard to predict what's going to happen."
Especially in a rivalry game where the physical level is amped up.
"Last year, we won the one-goal games," Keenan said. "You have to know how to win one-goal games. They don't right now."
But Keenan wants them to remember one thing: it ain't over ‘til it's over.
"Oh-and-five is pretty ugly, but we're one game out of a playoff spot because Colorado only has one win," he said. "Washington only has two wins and go on down the line."
Edmonton's Gavin Prout had two goals and three assists, while Brodie Merrill had a goal and five points.