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.

Kevin Neibauer
Kevin Neibauer

Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.

Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.

A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.