Mammoth meltdown for Rush

CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:31 PM ET

EDMONTON - The mission couldn’t have been simpler.

Win, and the Edmonton Rush were in the National Lacrosse League playoffs.

Oops! Opportunity missed.

Looking disorganized and uninspired out of the gate, the Rush let the Colorado Mammoth have their way en route to dropping a 13-6 decision at Rexall Place Saturday night.

“It’s just a disappointing game overall,” said Rush coach Derek Keenan. “I don’t know why, but for some reason we were very, very tentative tonight in all areas. Defensively tentative, no pressure.We sat back, let them feed.

“I thought we had some good offensive pushes, but we shot the ball terribly. If you said a week ago we’d be held to 12 goals in two games, I would have said you’re crazy. We really didn’t play well in any area tonight.”

The loss dropped the Rush’s record to 4-11. Their playoff hopes are still alive — albeit on life support.

To make the playoffs, Edmonton must beat the Toronto Rock here on Saturday and hope the 4-10 Mammoth drop their remaining two games.

Considering the Rock have the third-best record in the NLL, the odds of making the playoffs would have been better with a win last night.

“We need help ... and that’s the last thing we wanted to do,” said Keenan.

“We wanted to get in on our own merit.

“What more motivation do you need? To play so tentatively is the most disappointing part.”

Right now, the chances of the Rush making the playoffs for only the second time in their six-year existence are somewhere between slim and none.

Say, isn’t that Slim leaving town? If Colorado wins one of its games next weekend, the fat lady will sing.

The Mammoth built up a surprisingly easy 4-1 and never looked back.

“Right from the start, we were chasing — maybe nerves and the magnitude of the game affected us a bit,” said Rush captain Brodie Merrell, who got a minor, major and game misconduct after pummelling former Edmonton teammate Gavin Prout late in the game.

“It was just the emotion of the game got the better of me and I wish I would have reacted in a better way. It was a frustrating night all around,” Merrell said.

Edmonton’s Ryan Ward was the team’s only bright spot, his hat trick representing half the Rush’s offensive output.

“We picked a bad time of the season to have a flatline performance,” said Ward.

“It was top to bottom. Offence, defence. I don’t think anybody played great tonight.

“Missed opportunity at it’s finest. We had the opportunity to take care of it ourselves, but we didn’t capitalize.”

con.griwkowsky@sunmedia.ca


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