Saskatchewan Rushes Past Wings, 15-10

The Saskatchewan Rush (6-2) have not been their usual wrecking crew this season.

Despite holding first place in the West, the Rush have had their issues with goal scoring.

Philadelphia (7-4) has been one the more impressive teams in the National Lacrosse League and their netminder, Zach Higgins has had a tremendous season.

Things would change for both teams in a Saturday evening matchup witnessed by a crowd of 9,683.

The Rush offense found its mojo and Higgins, at least for one night, lost his.

Ryan Keenan (3g,2a) converted a sweet feed from player of the game, Mark Matthews (1g,8a) to put Saskatchewan up, 1-0 with just :56 played.

Philadelphia found themselves on the man advantage and Kevin Crowley and Matt Rambo (2a) set up Brett Hickey (2g,1a) who would beat Rush netminder, Evan Kirk with an overhand howitzer to get it even.

Two minutes later, Wings Captain, Kiel Matisz (1g,1a) fired a rocket of his own to hand Philly a lead that lasted :56.

Higgins bad luck started when he made the save on a Ben McIntosh (3g,3a) shot but the ball trickled in. 

Josh Currier pulled off a pretty spin move and hit Blaze Riorden (2g,2a) who quick sticked one behind Kirk.

Keenan and Matthews, :35 apart closed the opening quarter with the visitors enjoying a 4-3 lead.

Jeff Shattler (3g,2a), Matthews did the work and Robert Church (2g,3a) got the best of Higgins on another man advantage.

McIntosh added another and Higgins was chased from the net with Philadelphia staring at a 7-3 deficit.

Steph Charbonneau (2g) joined the party with two highlight markers. The first, at 10:04 with Charbonneau picking up a loose ball and rumbled down the floor to cut the lead to three

Kevin Crowley fired a shot high that caromed right back in front and Charbonneau went air borne to beat Kirk.

Setting the pattern for the night, every time the Wings would start to gain momentum, the Rush snuffed it out and it took McIntosh :36 to do just that and halftime was upon the teams with a 8-5 Saskatchewan lead.

Keenan landed another goal that squeezed its way in and Shattler lit the lamp to push it to a five goal lead.

Crowley (1g, 3a) converting a pretty Kiel Matisz pass followed by Currier once again gave Philly life.

Shattler and Riorden exchanged tallies to take it to the final quarter with Philly trailing, 11-8.

Currier took just :56 and the partisan crowd started to pick up the volume.

Connor Robinson (1g,1a) and an underhand backhand from Austin Murphy deflated the Wings chances.

Hickey converted a Rambo set up on the advantage but another strange series of events took place.

It looked as if Philadelphia would have an easy goal as Kirk lost his balance. 

The net got knocked out place and the Rush, in the person of Chris Corbeil appeared to have scored in the vacated Philadelphia net.

Wings Coach, Paul Day threw the challenge flag and contended that the initial shot was a goal due to net being out of its area.

If overturned, it would be a crucial two goal swing. After a lengthy review, the call would stand.

Church closed the scoring with another power play goal.

Dis and Dat: The Rush defense was outstanding all evening and forced multiple bad passes and poor shots from Philadelphia.

The steady Trevor Baptiste was his usual dominating self by going,22 of 30 on the face offs.

Shots on goal slightly favored Philadelphia at 52-50.

Loose balls also saw a slight edge to the home team, 80-77.

Evan Kirk went the entire way for the Rush and was outstanding stopping 42 shots. Zach Higgins was yanked after just 18:05 and stopped 14 of the 21 he faced. Brandon Miller mopped up and went 41:54 with 21 saves on 28 shots.

Power plays had Philadelphia potting 2 of 4 with the Rush 2 for 3.

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.