In a battle for first place in the NLL West Division Friday night, the Saskatchewan Rush defeated the San Diego Seals 14-8. The victory moved the Rush (9-6) a half game ahead of the Seals (9-7) for first.
In an otherwise very even contest, it was the third period that decided the game, as the Rush exploded for seven goals—fully half of their game total.
Saskatchewan and San Diego battled to a 1-1 tie through the first 15 minutes. In the second quarter the Seals struck first, with Casey Jackson potting one on the powerplay 9:53 into the frame. Two late goals by the Rush gave them a single-goal advantage at the mid-point of the game.
The Rush exploded out of the gate in the third quarter, blowing the game wide open. Five unanswered goals in the first eight-and-a-half minutes—including three by Ben McIntosh—gave Saskatchewan a six-goal advantage before the Seals were finally able to stop the run. The teams exchanged goals the rest of the quarter, and again did the same in the fourth quarter—every time San Diego scored in the final 20 minutes of the contest, Saskatchewan was able to respond and maintain their advantage.
When all was said and done, McIntosh has the sock trick, along with two assists, while San Diego’s Conner Kelly (3 G, 1 A) and Garrett Billings (4 A) each contributed four points in the losing effort.
Rush goaltender Adam Shute stopped 39 shots for the win, while Frankie Scigliano made 35 saves for the Seals before being replaced by Tyler Carlson halfway through the fourth quarter (Carlson made three saves, giving up two goals during his time between the pipes).
The Rush are right back to work Saturday night, hosting the Philadelphia Wings, while the Seals next host the Colorado Mammoth on April 19.