Edmonton scores first nine goals en route to a very lopsided victory.
Last night the Edmonton Rush (7-4) embarrassed the Rochester Knighthawks (7-4) by a score of 16-3 in front of 6,801 on Native American Night in Rochester. The victory by the Rush set a team record for largest margin of victory, while Rochester tied the NLL single game record for fewest goals in a regular season game with three. The Pittsburgh Bulls on March 21, 1992 scored three when they hosted the Detroit Turbos.
Things never went right from the start for the Knighthawks as Mark Matthews (3 G, 4 A) started the onslaught just 20 seconds into the contest. Robert Church (2 G, 5 A) and rookie Ben McIntosh (3 G, 3 A) showed off their skills as well. Church and McIntosh were teammates in college at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Some of the passes they made would have never been made by first year teammates.
Edmonton scored five times in the first to open up a 5-0 lead. The Rush would start the second quarter the same way, scoring four more times to take a 9-0 lead before Rochester would finally score their first of the game at the 9:47 mark of the second quarter. After another five goal run, the fans started to head to the exits with 3:57 to go in the third. Rochester would score again in the third and one more in the fourth.
“It’s great playing along side of Robert again,” said McIntosh. “It’s like being back at school (Drexel), we just know where they other will be.”
Church echoed the same about Big Ben.
“When hearing Ben’s name being announced as Edmonton’s pick this year, I just knew it would be a special season,” said Church. “It was sad after playing our last game together in college, I never imagined this would happen.” McIntosh and Church were roommates during their time at Drexel.
The offense is tied for third with 148 goals scored, but is a whopping plus-47 in goal differential. This is mostly in part to having four players over 20 goals: Matthews (33, on pace for 54), Church (23, on pace for 37), McIntosh (22, on pace for 36), and Zack Greer (25, on pace for 41).
But it was more than just the scoring. The Edmonton defense is no joke. The Rush has allowed a league low 101 goals against in 11 games. Next closest is the Knighthawks with 120 goals allowed.
Aaron Bold played fantastic stopping 31 of 34 shots faced. It was a low number of shots mostly in part from the Rush defense forcing 15 turnovers, and limiting the Knighthawks to very few second chance opportunities.
For Rochester, it was the same feeling throughout the locker room. Players saying, “We need to play better,” “That was an embarrassing game both on offense and defense.” But one thing they all agree on is they will forget this game and prepare for the Rock who almost play the same style defense as Edmonton.
Edmonton not only outshot Rochester 64-34, but also picked up 85 loose balls to Rochester’s 55.
Edmonton runs a fast paced offense, and a veteran team like Rochester will bounce back from this loss.
It starts next week as the Knighthawks travel to face Toronto Friday night, before returning home again and facing the Swarm on Saturday night.
Edmonton will now have two consecutive weekends of back to back games, both divisional. Friday April 3 , and Saturday April 4; a home and home with Vancouver, starting in Edmonton. Then on April 10 and 11, another home and home with the Calgary Roughnecks, starting off in the Saddledome.