Rush Dominated On Home Floor By The Thunderbirds

The Saskatchewan Rush were dominated on their home floor in a 19-6 loss to the Halifax Thunderbirds on Saturday night at the SaskTel Centre.

Halifax outshot the Rush 58-44, while Jake Withers went 26 for 30 at the faceoff dot. Possibly the only bright spot of the game for the Rush was the fact they went three-for-four on the power play.

Ryan Benesch led the Thunderbirds with four goals, while Clarke Petterson put up a hat trick and eight points.

Frank Scigliano stopped 18 of 28 shots before being replaced by Laine Hruska. Warren Hill had a bounce-back game with 38 saves.


Halifax got on the board first with a shot down the middle from Austin Shanks at 1:17. Clarke Petterson followed that up with a bouncer from close in 24 seconds later to make it 3-0.

It looked as if the Rush would get on the board at 2:31 when Mike Triolo scored. However, the goal was challenged and was waved off because he was in the crease.

The Thunderbirds made it 3-0 at 5:26 when Frank Scigliano got a piece of a Randy Staats shot but it trickled over the line.

Saskatchewan finally got on the board at 6:50 when Mike Messenger dove across the crease to make it 3-1.

Halifax continued to dominate the first quarter when Staats’ side arm shot got through at 7:57.

Petterson was caught on defence but ended up scoring on transition at 9:55 to make it 5-1. Ryan Benesch rounded out the scoring with 16.2 seconds on the clock to make it 6-1 for Halifax after one. The Thunderbirds dominated as they outshot the Rush 19-7 on their home floor in the first quarter.


Benesch opened the scoring in the second quarter. He beat a defender to the loose ball and buried it at 1:01 to give the Thunderbirds a six-goal cushion.

Zach Manns replied 1:01 afterward, picking the top corner for Saskatchewan’s second goal.

Halifax scored on transition at 4:02 when Graeme Hossack flipped a pass back to Ryan Terefenko to make it 8-2.

Saskatchewan’s third goal came on the power play at 5:56. Manns’ shot got deflected right to Clark Walter, who found the back of the net.

At 9:21, the Rush hit the post, which sent Johnny Pearson all alone to make it 10-3. 

Saskatchewan put Laine Hruska in goal, but it didn’t help. Colton Armstrong scored with at 10:44 and Scigliano came back into the goal.

Walter buried a pass from Robert Church with 2:00 left in the first half to make the score 11-4 Halifax at the half.


Halifax continued their dominance into the second half as Benesch netted another at 3:33. Petterson would then make it 13-4 at the 4:57 mark.

Dawson Theede stepped into one at 9:14 and the rout was on. Shanks scored on an outside bounce shot at 10:53 and that ended the night of Scigliano as Hruska went back in.

The Rush pulled their goaltender for an extra attack which backfired as Hossack found the back of the net with 3:04 left on the clock to make it 16-4 at the end of the third quarter.


The Rush pushed back a bit more to start the fourth quarter. Triolo scored bullying his way to the net at 1:43 to get the Rush within 11.

Ryan Keenan followed that up on the power play at 7:12 to make the score 17-6.

It was all Halifax after that.

Theede would make it 18-6 with 3:21 left on the clock and Aaron Woods would put the last nail in the coffin with 46.7 seconds left as the Thunderbirds dominated the Rush on their home floor 19-6.

Saskatchewan Rush co-head coach Jimmy Quinlan commented after the game:

Top Scorers

Halifax Thunderbirds

Clarke Petterson, 3g 5a

Austin Shanks, 2g 5a

Ryan Benesch, 4g 2a

Saskatchewan Rush

Robert Church, 4a

Zach Manns, 1g 3a

Clark Walter, 2g 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.