Rush to get yer free tickets

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:17 PM ET

To their credit, the Edmonton Rush and Calgary Roughnecks are working hard to perpetuate the rivalry.

Last week the Roughnecks took out a newspaper ad essentially calling out the city of Edmonton.

This week Edmonton Rush owner Bruce Urban has offered to buy any fan willing to make the trip, a ticket to the game in Calgary.

It all adds to the drama as both teams are battling each other for the final playoff spot in the National Lacrosse League West Division.

"We got to get some wins and we have to get some confidence," said Roughnecks GM Kurt Silcott in a conference call yesterday. "Right now we're a little bit down, but we're still in control of our own destiny and we have a big task in front of us this weekend. We're hopeful our fans can help us out like their fans helped out Edmonton get back into the playoff race."

STARTING TODAY

Rush fans can secure tickets to Saturday's game (7:30) at the Saddledome in Calgary through Ticketmaster starting today at noon. The Roughnecks are doing their part by offering a friends and family rate at the Delta Bow Valley hotel and the Fairmont Palliser.

Last Saturday the Rush defeated the Roughnecks 11-9 at Rexall Place in a game decided by two late goals in the fourth quarter.

The win lifted the Rush past the Roughnecks in the standings and temporarily into a playoff position. Saturday's game is one of two for the Rush this weekend as they'll travel to face the San Jose Stealth on Sunday.

"This is a 'What have you done for me lately' league," said Rush head coach and general manager Bob Hamley. "Sure we had a great weekend, but it's in the past and we have to move on and keep getting better and that's been our focus.

"Calgary is a very good team, their record is not indicative of the talent and the staff they have there. It's a very tough building, but the West has been very tight this year and we have to get wins."

With the Colorado Mammoth and Stealth having essentially locked up the top two spots in the division, the remaining playoff berths are being battled for by the Rush, Roughnecks and Portland LumberJax.

The teams go into the weekend within a game of each other in the standings.

"We need wins and so does Calgary and Portland," said Hamley. "It's about wins and we have five opportunities, that's the way I look at it. We have five games left and five opportunities to get wins and it starts on Saturday against Calgary."

PLAYOFF RACE

Considering the Rush started the season 0-6, just being in a playoff race is an impressive accomplishment for Hamley and his staff, who took over from Paul Day five games ago.

Hamley revamped the roster and has been able to get the most out of his players in a short amount of time.

"We're certainly in a better frame of mind now," Hamley said. "We're playing with some confidence. We've made lots of changes and it hasn't taken long for our group to gel. We have some great leadership and they've embraced what we've been preaching since we started to get on a little bit of a roll here."

With two games left against Calgary, the Rush could conceivably clinch a playoff berth for the first time in franchise history by taking both encounters.

But Hamley is not looking that far ahead.

"We have to focus on the first five minutes in Calgary," he said. "You can't look ahead in this league, it's just too good. We had a good weekend, we beat a good Calgary team and now we have to go in and beat a very good Calgary team again."


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