Road Cook-ing: Roughnecks hand Rush fifth straight loss

Article and photos by Shawn Slaght, All Lacrosse All The Time – A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Calgary Roughnecks took a step closer to first place in the West Division and handed the Saskatchewan Rush their fifth straight loss with a 14-6 win on Saturday night at the SaskTel Centre.

With the Roughnecks’ win and the San Diego Seals’ loss to the Buffalo Bandits, the Seals move to 10-3 at the top of the West, but the Roughnecks sit at 10-4.

Meanwhile, the loss drops Saskatchewan to 5-8. Luckily for the Rush, the fourth-place Colorado Mammoth lost to Vancouver to sit at 6-7 for the “wild card” fourth-place spot in the West. Las Vegas is also creeping up with a record of 5-8 to contend for a playoff spot The Philadelphia Wings are also in that race with a record of 6-8 and Halifax at 7-7. The fifth straight loss means the Rush haven’t seen a victory since defeating San Diego 16-11 on Feb. 17. The good news is the Rush could hold their own fate as they still have games against Las Vegas, Colorado and Halifax to end the season

Tanner Cook burned the Rush defense on Saturday night. He put together a sock trick and an assist for seven points. Jesse King, Dan Taylor and Tyler Pace all finished the night with six points.

Roughnecks shutout the Rush in the first quarter

Calgary wasted no time, jumping out to a 4-0 lead. King opened the scoring at 10:10 with a low bouncing shot that found the back of the net.

Only 1:06 later Cook when diving across the crease to beat Buque to make it 2-0.

Taylor burned his former team with a quick stick shot. That would end the night for Buque after allowing three goals on seven shots. Eric Penney went in relief.

Curtis Manning scored on transition with 1:19 left on the clock to make it 4-0 for the Roughnecks after the first quarter.

Rush get on the board

The Saskatchewan Rush finally got on the board as Mike Messenger picked the top corner one minute into the quarter.

Ryan Keenan cut the lead in half 4-2 at the 12:39 mark, beating Del Bianco on the far side.

Taylor struck again just over two minutes later with another quick stick to make it 5-2.

On the power play, Mark Matthews would go five-hole at 8:50 to get the Rush back within one.

It didn’t last long as Cook picked up a rebound with 6:24 on the clock and buried it as part of a six-goal run.

Only 32 seconds later the Roughnecks scored again off Cook’s shot that hit the post, off Penney and into the net.

Another 32 seconds later King was found wide open in front of the net with all the time in the world and scored to make it 8-3 at the half.

Roughnecks silence Rush crowd

Cook continued to be a thorn in the Rush’s side, scoring at 11:31 on the power play to continue the onslaught.

Cook again scored at 9:16 off a delayed penalty with the extra attacker to make it 10-3.

A tic-tac-toe play by the Roughnecks gave Cook the goal with 31 seconds left in the quarter.

Robert Church stopped the bleeding with 11 seconds left in the quarter. Church picked up his own rebound and scored to make it 11-4 heading into the final frame.

Playoff hopes dim for the Rush

The Roughnecks continue to pad their lead in the fourth quarter. Taylor was found open in front of the net and he tip-toed around the crease to make it 12-4.

Cook drove to the net 31 seconds later to make it 13-4 and a long-range shot from King on the power play rounded out a three-goal run.

Church got the Rush back on the board with a bouncer with 7:05 on the clock to make it 14-5 as play began to get chippy.

Dan Lintner scored a highlight reel goal with 4:09 to play. Running behind the net he dunked it in to make the final 14-6 and the fifth straight loss for the Rush.

Top Scorers

Calgary Roughnecks

Tanner Cook, 6g 1a

Jesse King, 4g 2a

Dan Taylor, 3g 3a

Tyler Pace, 6a

Saskatchewan Rush

Robert Church, 2g 1a

Ryan Keenan, 1g 2a

Dan Lintner, 1g 1a

Mark Matthews, 1g 1a

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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.