The Vancouver Stealth (2-14) got on the board first but that was the end of the good news for the last-place team in the NLL. The Saskatchewan Rush (13-3) responded by scoring nine straight goals en route to an easy 20-10 victory.
The Rush started third-string goalie Adam Shute and after the shaky start—giving up a goal to Vancouver’s Tony Malcom just 35 seconds into the game—he settled in and didn’t surrender another goal until there were only 23 seconds left in the first half.
Following a fairly evenly matched third quarter, Saskatchewan launched into a seven-goal run, extending their lead and leaving the struggling Stealth with little hope of a comeback.
Mark Matthews led the Rush attack with 10 points on the night (3 goals, 7 assists) while Robert Church added nine points (4 G, 5 A). Matthews and Church are now first and second in the leagues scoring race, at 104 points and 99 points respectively.
On the Stealth side, Brandon Clelland collected four assists while Rhys Duch earned his first hat trick of the year in the losing cause.
Shute made 33 saves over the course of the game for the win. Eric Penny and Tye Belanger split time in the Vancouver net, combining for 43 saves.
The Rush host Georgia tonight in their next game action. The game is meaningless to Saskatchewan in terms of the standings this year as they’ve already locked up the first overall record in the NLL, but Georgia is still fighting for a playoff spot in the East Division. The Rush are probably also motivated to beat the team the defending league champions to send a message for the postseason.
The Stealth meanwhile, host the Calgary Roughnecks on April 21. Vancouver is fighting to avoid their worst single-season record in franchise history, but the game is otherwise meaningless for both teams in terms of the league standings.