Tonight the action gets started early. The east leading Toronto Rock (7-1) will travel to Alberta to face the west leading Edmonton Rush (4-2).
The Rush have the number one defense, only allowing 54 goals (9 per game), but they will face the number one offense as Toronto has scored 107 goals (13.375). On the flip side, Edmonton has scored 76 goals (12.66) and the Rock have allowed 78 goals (9.75). Both teams can score and both can defend. The question is, which will we see.
The Rock have shown how deep they are with talent. Brett Hickey (22G) leads the team, while Josh Sanderson not only leads the team in assists with (44) and points (52), but also leads the league in those two categories. The Rock also has balance scoring from Rob Hellyer (18G/32A), Stephan LeBlanc (17G/26A). Kevin Ross (10G) and Kasey Biernes (17G) have also chipped in with some big time goals. The defense has been on lockdown as well causing 86 turnovers (10.75 per game).
Brandon Miller comes into the game with a record of 4-1, and a 9.68 GAA. His partner in crime, Nick Rose is 3-0 and a 9.45 GAA. Both of these goaltenders are standing tall, and continue to get stronger with each save they make.
For the Edmonton Rush, Mark Matthews leads the team in goals (20) and points (36). But this team is also balanced from top to bottom. Rookie Ben McIntosh is playing spectacular with 14G/15A, Zack Greer (14G/14A) and Robert Church (10/16A) balance this offense out and cause problems for the opponents on defense.
When you mention defense, the first name mentioned should be Kyle Rubisch. Rubisch and Ryan Dilks are leading the team in forced turnovers with 12 each (91 team), so if you come into the offensive zone, if those two are on the floor, their is no guarantee you will hold onto it. And if you are lucky enough to hold onto the ball you have to deal with Aaron Bold. Bold has played every second for the Rush, compiling a 4-2 record and a 8.67 GAA, and a save percentage of 80.
On paper it seems the game should come down to whoever has the ball last, and with this game….It just might!