The last-place Saskatchewan Rush desperately needed a win on Saturday night against the Vancouver Warriors and six-goal outburst in the second quarter helped them to earn it, taking a 15-13 victory.
The win improves the Rush to 5-10, their playoff hopes still slim, but mathematically possible. Vancouver drops to 6-10, still ahead of the Rush, but trailing the Panther City Lacrosse Club for the final playoff spot.
Vancouver opened the scoring at the 1:35 mark when Brandon Goodwin beat Rush goalie Eric Penney. But the Rush came right back with two of their own. The two teams traded goals the rest of the quarter, with neither team building up a lot of momentum.
Over the first half of the second quarter, Vancouver built up a two-goal lead, but that’s when the Saskatchewan offence really exploded. Three goals in a 53-second outburst put the Rush back out in front and a fourth a minute later gave them a lead they would not surrender the rest of the way.
Ryan Keenan and Robert Church both contributed a goal and six assists to the Rush attack, with Josh Currier adding four goals. Penney made 37 saves for the win.
On the Warriors side, Kyle Killen scored seven times for the sock trick plus one. Alex Buque had a solid night in net for the Warriors, turning aside 40 shots to keep his team within striking distance the whole game.
The big difference for the Rush on this night, compared to many nights this season when they didn’t get the “W,” was working for quick stick opportunities and quick east-west ball movement to force Buque to move and make tough saves. The team has consistently led games in shots on goal, but have been settling for low percentage mid- and long-range shots. This game result was a reminder that the Rush are capable of scoring in bunches when they create good opportunities for each other.
Next Saturday the Rush host the first-place Colorado Mammoth in another must-win game for them. meanwhile, the Warriors will be at home against the third-place Calgary Roughnecks, trying to gain ground in their run at the postseason.