Rush make a statement in Sin City

The Saskatchewan Rush wanted to make a statement in Las Vegas on Friday night and they did by downing the Desert Dogs 17-5.

The Rush were dominant from state to finish. Patrick Dodds had a breakout game as a member of the Rush as he had a career-high seven assists. Captain Ryan Keenan also had a career-high 10 points with a goal and nine assists.

Zach Manns continued his hot start to the season coming up with four goals, while Robert Church also added four goals. Nathaniel Kozevnikov broke out with a trick trick as well for the Rush to spread the scoring around.

Frank Scigliano came up big for the Rush, stopping 38 of 43 shots in the victory.

Las Vegas’ offense once again struggled to find the back of the net. Casey Jackson put up most of the Desert Dogs’ offense with a pair of goals.

It was not the outing Landon Kells would have hoped for. He allowed 15 goals on 45 shots. He was pulled briefly in the second quarter for Joel Watson, who allowed two goals off three shots in 3:31 of work.

Rush jump out of a huge lead

It only took 46 seconds for the Rush to get on the board with Manns finding the back of the net. Church would then make it 2-0 with 7:10 left on the clock in the first.

Church would strike again less than two minutes later as the Rush went up by three.

Jackson finally got Las Vegas on the board with 3:41 left in the quarter but the celebration was short lived.

With the Rush on the power play, Church scored his hat trick goal with 2:17 remaining. With Cam Wengreniuk in the box for goalie interference, Mike Messenger found the back of the net shorthanded as the Rush led 5-1 after the first quarter.

Saskatchewan keeps their foot on the gas

The Rush continued to extend their lead by opening the second quarter with a three-goal run. Clark Walter scored 1:08 into the second followed by a marker from Manns just over a minute later as Saskatchewan led 7-1. Back on the power play, Church scored his fourth at the 12:53 mark.

Jackson struck again to stop the bleeding for Las Vegas with 4:53 on the clock.

However, the Desert Dogs found themselves in penalty trouble again. Walter rounded out the first half scoring on the power play as Saskatchewan led 9-2 at the break.

Vegas attempts a comeback

With such a big lead, the big question was how well this young Rush team could hold on to it. Saskatchewan opened the third quarter with goals from Manns and a shorthanded marker from Keenan to go up by nine. It was also Saskatchewan’s seventh shorthanded goal in three games.

The Desert Dogs tried to get themselves back into the game with a three-goal run to round out the third quarter. Zack Greer burned his former team on the power play at the 3:28 mark. Sean Westley then found the back of the net on the power play with 9:33 on the clock.

Dylan Watson rounded out the scoring but the Desert Dogs trailed by six, 11-5, heading into the final frame.

Rush make a statement in the fourth quarter

It was all Saskatchewan Ruh in the fourth quarter as their young guns had the hot sticks. Kozevnikov opened the scoring 3:08 into the fourth.

Wengreniuk scored less than two minutes later to extend Saskatchewan’s lead to 13-5. Manns potted his fourth of the game on the power play with 6:56 left in the game.

Wengreniuk struck for the second time in the fourth with 4:15 left followed by Kozevnikov scoring to put Saskatchewan up 16-5.

Saskatchewan would make a statement with Kozevnikov scoring his hat trick goal with 45 seconds left in the game to give the Rush a 17-5 win.

Top Scorers

Saskatchewan Rush

Ryan Keenan, 1g 9a

Patrick Dodds, 7a

Robert Church, 4g 3a

Las Vegas Desert Dogs

Sean Westley, 1g 2a

Rob Hellyer, 3a

Casey Jackson, 2g

Jack Hannah, 2a

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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.