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‘It’s just a slump’: Rush lose third straight
Calgary Roughnecks' Dane Dobbie scores of Rush goaltender Evan Kirk. (Shawn Slaght/CTV Regina)
Published Sunday, February 10, 2019 10:38AM CST
Last Updated Monday, February 11, 2019 10:49AM CST
For the first time since moving to Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan Rush have lost three straight games after falling to the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday.
Saskatchewan lost on the road against the Toronto Rock and Georgia Swarm the past two weeks.
A strong second half gave Calgary the 17-12 victory.
“Tonight was just a microcosm of the last three. I think we're just not consistent enough,” said Rush head coach and general manager Derek Keenan.
“We had a really good start and we had some great bounces defensively and I thought we had some really good chances that we either didn't bury or we hit a lot of pipe."
With the loss, Saskatchewan’s record drops to 3-4 and puts them in a tie for third place in the West Division.
“It's just a slump man. In any sport, teams get into slumps,” said Rush forward Jeff Shattler. “These guys have been on top for four years now. We're just going to face a little adversity and see how we answer.”
However, the National Lacrosse League changed their playoff structure this season so four out of five teams will make the playoffs in the west.
“We still have 11 games. It's three games in a row, three bad games, but we have to stay positive,” Shattler said.
Unlike the past two weeks, the Rush got off to a quick start with goals from Robert Church on the power play and Ben McIntosh off a transition pass from Nik Bilic.
Tyler Pace scored at 6:45 to bring the score to 2-1. The Rush proceeded to go on a three-goal run with goals from Ryan Keenan, Church and Curtis Knight.
The Roughnecks’ Dane Dobbie beat Rush goaltender Evan Kirk to round out the first-quarter scoring to narrow the Rush’s lead 5-2.
It was short lived as the Roughnecks went on a three-goal run themselves with goals from former Rush player Dan Taylor, Curtis Dickson and Dobbie.
The two teams exchanged goals to keep the game tied 7-7 at halftime.
The wheels fell off for the Rush in the third quarter after giving up a five-goal run, with Dan MacRae, Riley Loewen, Pace, Dickson and Dobbie scoring. During that time, Bilic took a five-minute major and a game misconduct for elbowing to the head.
“They came out really strong and the five minutes really hurt us. They only got one on it, but they got one at the end on transition," Derek Keenan said.
Church put one passed Roughnecks goaltender Christian Del Bianco for the Rush with less than two seconds left in the quarter to make it 12-8 in favour of the Roughnecks.
Shattler scored 11 seconds into the final frame, but the Roughnecks started to pull way with another three goal run to make it 15-9.
Matthews and Shattler got the Rush back within four goals, but a pair of empty net goals from the Roughnecks and a single goal by Ryan Keenan put the game away.
“We're not good enough defensively right now. We ran into a really good goaltender,” said Rush defenseman and team captain Chris Corbeil.
“The offense was getting chances. I felt like if we missed one at the other end, it hit the bar or something like that, it ended up in the back of our net."
The Rush are back in action on Saturday night when the travel to Vancouver to play the Warriors.