Rush score nine times in final quarter to turn Game 1 into a rout
The Saskatchewan Rush used a seven goal run early in the final quarter to cruise to an 18-9 game one win in the western division finals in front of 11,012 fans in the Pepsi Center. The attendance was the lowest this season for the Mammoth.
The Rush scored a total of nine goals in the final quarter, with Adam Jones scoring four of his game-high six and Mark Matthews scoring twice.
The Mammoth played strong for the first three quarters, but that is where the fire burned out. Dillon Ward and Aaron Bold played strong between the pipes in the first half, each only allowing five goals. Both made some key saves in the early going to keep the game close in the first half and even in the third quarter.
Chris Wardle scored in the first minute of the second half to give the Mammoth that one goal lead, but the Rush would go on a four goal run to take the largest lead of the night at 9-6. The Mammoth would score twice more and only be down by one as we went into the final quarter.
Former Mammoth Adam Jones silenced the crowd that was on him all-game long by scoring four times. The Mammoth and Rush swapped Adam Jones and Zack Greer during the off-season. Every time Jones would touch the ball it would seem to find its way past Dillon Ward.
Meanwhile, Aaron Bold went on a serious lockdown and only allowed one goal in the final 15 minutes; that goal coming on a penalty shot, scored by Greer.
The Rush showed in this game why they are the two-time defending champions. Meanwhile, the Mammoth must regroup and come back strong and try to pull off a big upset.
Game two is Saturday at 9:30 ET in Saskatchewan. Should the Mammoth win game two, a 10 minute mini-game will take place five minutes following the conclusion of the game.
The Rush offense was on fire. Adam Jones (6G/3A), Mark Matthews (2G/7A), Ben McIntosh (4G/3A) and Robert Church (2G/6A) led the way.
Jeremy Noble (4G/1A) led the Mammoth offense.