Rush roughed up

Calgary Roughnecks Dane Dobbie, centre, is congratulated by teammates Peter McFetridge, left, and...

Calgary Roughnecks Dane Dobbie, centre, is congratulated by teammates Peter McFetridge, left, and Curtis Dickson after scoring on Edmonton Rush goalie Rob Blasdell in NLL action at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary Saturday night1. The Roughnecks won 19-14.(Mike Drew, QMI Agency)

IAN BUSBY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

EDMONTON - CALGARY — Thankfully for the Edmonton Rush, they are done with the Calgary Roughnecks this regular season. However, the Rush would like another shot at their provincial rivals when it wraps up.

For the fourth straight time, the Battle of Alberta held a similar storyline for the embattled Rush.

The National Lacrosse League team managed to keep it close but then unravelled in the fourth quarter.

It added up to a 19-14 victory for the Roughnecks in front of 11,019 fans at the Saddledome.

The win improves the Riggers to 8-3 atop the West Division, while the Rush drop to 2-9, which is still good enough for fourth.

“We’re still in a playoff spot and we only have to beat them once this year,” said Rush forward Scott Evans, who scored four goals and three assists.

“If that comes in a month, that will be the one we’re looking for. We won’t care then about the four previous ones.”

Ryan Ward had a record-setting night, scoring six points in the opening quarter for the most in Rush franchise history during one frame.

Andy Secore and Zack Greer each scored twice, while Mike McLellan, Kyle Sweeney and Dean Hill added singles.

It couldn’t have started any worse for the Rush, as the Riggers came out flying and scoring four goals in 2:32.

This was the first game for the Roughnecks in 48 days and the first since the team’s financial troubles became public, but that hardly slowed down the offence.

But when Dane Dobbie scored to make it 4-0, John Lintz drilled him at the top of the crease, turning the momentum towards the Rush.

The visitors then ripped off eight straight goals, thanks in part to a Geoff Snider major, but they couldn’t hold on, as the Riggers scored five straight to take a 9-8 halftime lead.

The Rush took over the third quarter with goals by Hill, Evans and newcomer Sweeney before defender Bruce Codd answered for the home side.

The 11-10 edge was just the fourth time this season the Rush have entered the fourth quarter with a lead and they built a two-goal edge before it all fell apart.

Scott Ranger and Nolan Heavenor scored to make it 12-12 with 9:36 left, and the Riggers offence exploded, outscoring the Rush 9-3 in the fourth quarter.

“It’s been the story of our season,” said Rush head coach Derek Keenan. “We don’t seem to be able to put together 60 minutes.

“It was a great run to get ahead. They went on a run and we were able to stem that.

“In the third quarter, we were outstanding. I think we gave up four shots on net in the third quarter. For whatever reason in the fourth, they started getting loose again and we made some mistakes.

“They buried the ball and that was the game.”

Despite losing four straight games, the Rush control their destiny. They have three meetings remaining with the fourth-place Colorado Mammoth.

Win those and they will likely face Calgary, where the records can be thrown out.

“It’s always tough against Edmonton,” said Riggers head coach Dave Pym. “Everything goes out the window because of the emotion involved in the Battle of Alberta.

“There are so many things that even out. They are a tough out. Keenan has knocked us out of the playoffs twice, so we need some payback.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/ianbusby57


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