The San Diego Seals weathered a late-game surge by the Saskatchewan Rush to hang on to a 12-11 win on Saturday night. The win solidifies San Diego’s hold on first place in the West Division, while the slumping Rush are now in a fourth-place tie with the Colorado Mammoth.
San Diego got out to the early lead when Tre Leclaire scored at the 10:51 mark. Dane Dobbie added to the lead a minute later with a behind-the-back goal that was also his 500th career goal. The Seals would add two more in the quarter before Robert Church finally put the Rush on the board with just five seconds remaining in the quarter.
The second quarter was evenly matched, with both teams adding a single goal and the defence tightening up on both ends.
The third quarter saw the Seals extend their lead. After exchanging goals early in the quarter, the Seals went on a three-goal run, opening up a six-goal advantage. Once again, Church was the one to stop the bleeding with a goal late in the period, but San Diego’s Wes Berg restored the six-goal lead with only a 1:20 left.
The fourth quarter saw the teams once again trading goals for the first eight minutes. Then the Rush finally found went on their own run. Three quick goals brought Saskatchewan to within striking distance. And in the final minute the Rush added two more just 12 seconds apart. With the clock ticking down and their net empty, the Rush were able to strip Curtis Dickson of the ball and make one last dash up the floor. Church found himself open at point-blank range, but his shot to tie the game sailed high, giving the Seals the win.
Berg led the way for the Seals with six points (2 goals, 4 assists) while Church had a seven-point (4 G, 3 A) night in the losing effort. Frank Scigliano was peppered by the Rush all night, but turned aside 49 shots to earn the victory, while Alex Buque made 38 saves for Saskatchewan.
Both teams return to action on the road this Friday night. The Rush travel to Calgary to take on the second-place Roughnecks; the Seals will be in Vancouver to face the suddenly resurgent Warriors who have decisively won their last two games.