The Toronto Rock ended the Saskatchewan Rush’s three-game winning streak, with a 9-8 road victory Saturday night at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.
Saskatchewan’s issues at home continue as the Rush are now 1-3 on their home floor, while they hold a perfect record on the road.
“We’ve kind of stunk it up here and we have to be better,” said Rush head coach and general manager Derek Keenan. “We’ve got to figure out a way to be better and a lot of it is just competing and execution too.”
Saskatchewan jumped out to a quick lead, going up 2-0 early in the second quarter with goals from Ryan Keenan and Jeff Shattler. Johnny Powless would reply at 3:01 of the second to make it 2-1.
Robert Church restored the two-goal cushion 35 seconds later and Shattler would add a second to put the Rush up 4-1.
Taylor Stuart would kill the momentum, but Church and Dinsdale would score to make it 6-2 Rush at half time.
“We had a really good first half and then we got back to forgetting that everybody comes in here and plays hard against us, everybody has good players, skill, talent and the second half we simply didn’t put the work part into the game,” said Derek Keenan.
The Rock would go on a four-goal run to open the second half and tie the game 6-6 with markers from Dan Craig, Scott Dominey and two from Reid Reinholdt.
The Mail Man would deliver at 13:50 of the third quarter to stop the momentum and put the Rush back up ahead by one, but Powless would tie up the game with 12.3 seconds left in the third.
Reinholdt would score 2:14 into the fourth quarter and Rob Hellyer would score the eventual game-winner at the 5:00 mark. Church would score 48 seconds later, but the Rush couldn’t find the equalizer.
“We have a lot of leadership in this room and we’ll prepare as much as we can, video review, hit the gym as hard as we can and I hope it’s a wake-up call for us,” said Rush defenseman Ryan Dilks.
Shawn Slaght has been a sports reporter across the Canadian prairies for over 10 years. For the past five years, he’s been the Saskatchewan correspondent for LaxPhilly.