Mark Matthews Ends His Former Team’s Playoff Hopes

Mark Matthews scored the game-winning goal against his former team as the Toronto Rock picked up a 12-11 victory over the Saskatchewan Rush on Saturday night.

With Albany picking up a 16-10 win over New York earlier in the day, it meant this game was “win and you are in” for the Rush. However, they fell just short and were eliminated from the playoffs with an 8-10 record.

Meanwhile, the Rock already locked up first place with a record of 15-3 for a franchise record for goals in the season.

The playoff picture now comes down to Sunday afternoon with Rochester taking on Philadelphia. If Rochester wins, they are in the playoffs. If they lose, New York will take the eighth and final playoff spot.

Tight Game Early

The defences and goaltenders came up big to open the game. It wasn’t until the 4:39 mark when Josh Dawick’s outside shot went in to give the Rock the lead.

Saskatchewan answered right back at 6:39 with Clark Walter finding Ryan Keenan to tie it up 1-1.

Toronto regained the lead on the power play with a rifle from Matthews at 8:16. Mike Triolo would get inside to score at 10:01 as the back-and-forth battle continued.

Walter went cross body with 1:34 left on the clock as the Rush held a 3-2 lead after the first quarter.

Schreiber Takes Over

Tom Schreiber was dominant in the second quarter. He scored off a bouncer 1:49 and added a dunk goal just over two minutes later to put the Rock up 4-3.

Saskatchewan tied it up at 5:55 when Patrick Dodds for Jerret Smith on transition.

Nathaniel Kozevnikov went short side at 7:28 and added another with 2:48 left on the clock as the Rush jumped ahead 6-4.

The Rock finished the quarter on a three-goal run. Matthews started it off with 1:54 left. Dawick then sent a behind-the-back pass to Dan Lintner 47 seconds later to tie up the game 6-6.

Schreiber scored the go-ahead goal with 36.2 seconds left going five-hole of Frank Scigliano as the Rock led 7-6 at the half.

Philly Sports Trips Generic

Toronto Continued To Hold The Edge

Saskatchewan struck quickly in the third quarter. Ryan Barnable found Robert Church 32 seconds into the quarter to tie it up once again 7-7.

Schreiber would then find Corey Small down low at 2:01 to the Rock restored their one-goal cushion.

Jake Boudreau tied it up as he went end-to-end and beat Nick Rose with a defender draped all over him at 3:54.

Triolo swung the momentum back Saskatchewan’s way. His shot around a defender at 5:49 put the Rush ahead 9-8.

Once again, neither team could take complete control. Dan Craig scored on a breakaway at 8:07 to tie it up. Dawick would score 27 seconds later to give the Rock a 10-9 lead.

Justin Martin in transition put a shot off the post and off the back of Scigliano’s leg at 9:21 to put the Rock up by two.

With their season in the balance, the Rush pushed back as Church scored on the power play with 2:35 on the clock on the Rock led 11-10 heading into the fourth.

Mark Matthews Ends The Rush’s Season

Neither team was about to give an inch in the fourth quarter. Triolo scored on the power play with a dunk shot at 4:53 to tie it 11-11.

Matthews ended his former team’s dreams of the post season. He used his patented swim move to get to the net and buried it with 5:28 left in the game.

There was still plenty of time on the clock but the Rock defence and Nick Rose shut the door on Saskathchewan’s season 12-11.

Top Scorers

Toronto Rock

Tom Schreiber, 3g 5a

Mark Matthews, 3g 4a

Josh Dawick, 2g 3a

Saskatchewan Rush

Ryan Keenan, 1g 4a

Mike Triolo, 3g

Robert Church, 2g 1a

Zach Manns, 3a

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Shawn Slaght
Shawn Slaght

Shawn Slaght has been a sports reporter across the Canadian prairies for over 10 years and has experience covering everything from junior hockey to World Cup skiing to all levels of lacrosse. He is the Saskatchewan correspondent for All Lacrosse All The Time.