Rush come up just short

Edmonton Rush Scott Evans fights with Calgary Roughnecks Mike Carnegie as Roughneck  Mike Kilby,...

Edmonton Rush Scott Evans fights with Calgary Roughnecks Mike Carnegie as Roughneck Mike Kilby, right, tries to break them up during NLL action at Rexall Place on Sunday. The Rush lost 11-12. (Amber Bracken, Edmonton Sun)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

EDMONTON - Just as soon as things started rolling for the Edmonton Rush, they ran into their provincial rivals.

The Calgary Roughnecks are a perfect three-for-three on the season thanks to a 12-11 victory at Rexall Place Sunday, squashing the Rush's hopes of tying a franchise-high three-straight victories.

"I didn't think we were good enough," said Rush head coach Derek Keenan. "We had a chance to win still, but it's almost one of those things where I don't think we deserved it anyway.

"It just wasn't enough. We had too many passengers and not enough guys that really played with that desperation we need to play with at this position of the season with our record."

Fourteen seconds into the final frame, Rush forward Scott Evans scored his fifth of the game to take a 9-8 lead, before Calgary reclaimed it with three goals in just over a minute and a half from Dane Dobbie and Jeff Shattler and Kaleb Toth.

Jimmy Quinlan singlehandedly got the Rush back into it, answering back with his fourth and fifth goals of the season to tie the score 11-11 with five minutes to play.

But Shattler completed a hat trick with the game winner to finish with eight points and strengthen his squad's grip on first place in the West Division.

"They were on a hot streak with two in a row, and we were coming off a loss so both teams were really hungry to get this win," Shattler said. "I'm glad we were able to gut it out. We got the goals when we needed them and it all worked out in the end.

"It's huge for us. It sets them back to the point where it is going to be hard for them to make the playoffs. And it pretty much puts us in a playoff spot already. We're not thinking that far ahead but it is good to know that in the back of your mind."

The lead switched hands three times in the first quarter, with rookie Jarrett Toll opening the scoring for the home side before Curtis Dickson made it 2-1 for Calgary at the midpoint of the period.

Evans scored his first of the game on a four-on-three advantage to carry a 3-2 lead into the second quarter, which the Roughnecks ended up taking over.

Not even a minute in, Dickson tied it 3-3 on the power play before Edmonton retook the lead on mirror-image goals from Gavin Prout and Evans that sniped the top corner to make it 5-3.

But four unanswered Calgary goals, including Dickson's hat-trick tally, saw the visitors carry a 7-5 lead into halftime.

Not to be outdone, Evans made his hat-trick marker less than a minute into the third quarter.

It was Evans' seventh goal since joining the Rush on Jan. 27 in a trade for defender and former original Rush member Rory Glaves.

Trailing 7-6, Evans had an obvious Bobby Orr-like goal taken away by a terrible crease call that the Rush weren't able to challenge before the 20-second grace period passed.

Dean Hill made good on the tying tally less than a minute later with his second goal, but Calgary took the lead right back at the midpoint of the quarter on a Shattler's second goal.

With 0.6 seconds left, Evans scored his fourth with the extra-attacker to send an 8-8 tie into the final quarter.

"If I had five (goals) in a winning effort, it would feel a lot better than in a losing effort," said Evans.

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