NLL: Rush cruise to 11-4 win over Riptide

The Saskatchewan Rush made quick work of the New York Riptide in New York’s home opener, jumping out to an early 6-0 lead and earning an 11-4 victory. The Rush improve to 2-1 with the win while the expansion Riptide continue to struggle, sitting at 0-4 so far.

Robert Church sniped the first goal of the game for Saskatchewan at the 3:47 mark of the first quarter. Rookie Holden Garlent followed that up with his first of the season just nine seconds later, putting the Rush up by a pair.

The Rush would continue to apply pressure for the remainder of the quarter, adding two more goals, and then scoring twice more early in the second quarter before Connor Kelly finally scored new York’s first of the night—and their first-ever goal at home—four-and-a-half minutes into the frame.

Saskatchewan responded quickly, as Jeff Shattler scored less than 30 seconds later. The remaining 10 minutes of the quarter were a little more back-and-forth, but the Rush took a 9-2 lead to the locker room.

The Riptide showed signs of life as the third quarter got underway. Tyler Digby scored a powerplay goal 3:55 into the second half and New York continued to press, getting off 14 shots in the quarter—the most by either team in a single quarter. Unfortunately for them, Evan Kirk was on his game between the pipes for the Rush, allowing just that single marker in the third.

The fourth quarter was fairly even again with New York getting another 13 shots on Kirk while Saskatchewan took 11 shots on Riptide goalie Alex Buque. The net result, however, was just one goal for New York, Ben McIntosh potting a penalty shot for Saskatchewan late in the game, and Church adding an empty-netter with the clock running down.

Mark Matthews paced the Rush offence with a goal and five assists while Church (4 G, 1 A) and Shattler (1 G, 4 A) added five points each. Digby (2 G), Dan Lomas (1 G, 1 A), and Kelly (1 G, 1 A) led the Riptide attack with two points each.

Kirk and Buque both made 44 saves in the game, with Kirk surrendering the second-fewest goals in a game ever for the Rush.

The Rush don’t play again until Jan 12 when they visit the San Diego Seals, while the Riptide host the Philadelphia Wings next Saturday.