The Saskatchewan Rush picked up an overtime win over the Colorado Mammoth 10-9 on Saturday night at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.
Robert Church led the way for the Rush with five goals including the goal to give the Rush the overtime win. The Rush jumped out to a 6-4 lead at halftime with a hat trick from Church.
“Our offence we just focused on playing harder and playing faster and I think we’ve been doing that and we are getting the result. We didn’t get that many goals but I think it’s going to come. We are still building chemistry, we had three new righties in,” Church said.
Rush head coach Jeff McComb said it was desperation time for his team to stay in the playoff hunt.
“Obviously, coming in at 2-6 we didn’t want to be there but one of the things we talked about during the week was we hadn’t lost a season series to a Western Division opponent yet. A win tonight doesn’t allow that to happen again,” McComb said.
“When you are playing the same teams in your own division so many times during the year if you can win season series you’re going to end up on the right side of it and the playoffs and that’s our focus. Let’s win the season series against our Wester Division opponents and see where we go.”
Church With First Half Hat Trick
Church opened the scoring 3:32 into the game to begin a three-goal run for the Rush. Captain Chris Corbeil and Austin Murphy added the other markers for the green-and-black.
Eli MacLaughlin would finally get the Mammoth on the board at 11:01. Church would score his second of the game 28 seconds later. Make the score 4-1 for the Rush.
Church’s hat trick goal came three minutes into the second quarter to extend the Rush lead to four.
Markers by Chris Wardle and Ryan Lee kept the Mammoth within striking distance early in the second. However, Jeff Shattler would score with Jalen Chaster in the box to make it 6-3 for the Rush.
Zed Williams scored with 52 seconds left in the quarter to make it 6-4 at the half.
A quick stick by Church on the power play opened the scoring 2:28 into the second half. The Rush’s three-goal lead was restored.
Lee took a long shot through traffic that beat Eric Penney at 10:49 of the third to narrow the lead 7-5.
That would begin a two-goal run for the Mammoth with the other marker from Dylan Kinnear.
Mark Matthews would open the scoring in the fourth, diving across the crease to beat Dillon Ward.
Former member of the Rush Connor Robinson scored a beauty with defenders all around him to make the score 8-7 for Saskatchewan.
A quick stick by Ryan Keenan restored the Rush’s two-goal cushion until Robinson scored a shot from behind his back at 12:33 shorthanded.
Kinnear would tie up the game from just inside the restraining line with seconds left on regulation to send the game into overtime.
Mammoth Force Overtime
Penney was stellar in his debut with the Rush. He stopped Joey Cupido twice on breakaways in overtime to keep the Rush in it.
“I thought he was going to be five-hole so I made a move before he released the ball and luckily enough I got my left shoulder on the first one. I think a couple of minutes later the same thing happened. He went back to the well and tried to stick in low and I came up with a big stop,” Penney explained.
Dillon Ward was no slouch himself in the Colorado goal, making a career-high 62 saves in the loss.
Church’s hot stick continued as he took a shot around a pair of defender that fooled Ward for the overtime win.
Robert Church, 5g 2a
Mark Matthews, 1g 3a
Jeff Shattler, 1g 2a
Ryan Lee, 2g 4a
Connor Robinson, 2g 4a
Eli McLaughlin, 2g 1a
Chris Wardle, 1g 2a
Tyler Digby, 3a
Rush Head Coach Jeff McComb addressed the media after the game:
Comments from Robert Church following his five-goal night including the overtime game-winner:
Eric Penney meets with the media after picking up his first win in goal as a member of the Saskatchewan Rush:
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.