March 6, 2011
Rush roughed up
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - Two’s company, but three’s going to have to wait until another time.
The Edmonton Rush looked to make it three consecutive wins against the only opponent they’ve beaten this season, but it was the Washington Stealth leaving Rexall Place with a 18-10 win Saturday night.
After sweeping the Stealth 2-0 in a home-and-away series in February for their only victories of the season so far, the Rush looked to be riding that reputation into Saturday’s game, spotting their opponents 4-0 in the first quarter in front of an announced attendance of 7,370.
“They were a lot sharper,” said Rush head coach Derek Keenan, who saw an equal 54 shots on net, but that’s the only similarity between the two sides of the scoreboard. “To be honest, obviously the result is 18-10. That’s the end game. I thought early on it was an even game, we just didn’t put the ball in the net and they did.
“We had an equal amount of quality chances and we didn’t score on them.”
Stealth leading point-scorer Lewis Ratcliff recorded a hat trick with three minutes to go in the opening quarter, while getting in on a Cam Sedgwick goal to lead 4-0 after the opening 15.
In an effort to spark his squad, Rush captain Brodie Merrill kicked off a fight-filled affair by scoring a TKO against Stealth defender Jeff Moleski with some overhand rights before adding a cheap shot on the ground for good measure.
“You can sense our frustration. I think we’re searching for something to turn things around and try to create some momentum,” said Merrill, who fell to 2-8 on the season but are still one win up on the Colorado Mammoth in the West. “All this being said, we’re still in a playoff spot, so that’s the good new, but that opportunity’s dwindling if we don’t take advantage of it.”
Newest Rush member Zack Greer got Edmonton on the board 1:43 in after taking a behind-the-head pass from Gavin Prout.
Another Ratcliff goal later, Greer would repay the favour by finding Prout in front of the crease to trail 7-2
The prettiest goal of the game came when Stealth forward Rhys Duch strung together a series of smooth stickhandling manoeuvres, allowing him to wade into the Rush defence before depositing a five-holer underneath Disher, who was pulled late in the first quarter but returned for some more abuse.
Mydske put home a break-away effort in the third quarter, which was sandwiched between Grimes’ and Duch’s second goals of the night, to lead push Washington’s lead to 11-4.
Rush forward Corey Small took matters into his own hands with a pair of five-hole goals 12 seconds apart.
Rush rookie John Lintz scored his first career NLL goal 15 seconds into the final quarter to trail 12-7.
Small then completed his hat trick with 10 minutes to go in the game to trail 13-8, before bagging his fourth less than two minutes later.
But 13-9 is as close as Edmonton would get before the Stealth scored five unanswered goals – four in under a minute and a half.
“It was a disappointing night,” Keenan said. “We’re doing everything we can to prepare and be ready every week and we just can’t seem to put the whole package together.
“Tonight, Corey Small had a good night, where were the rest of the guys?”