The Saskatchewan Rush never trailed last night as they earned a 9-7 win at home over the Colorado Mammoth. The win vaults the defending NLL champions back into first place in the tight West Division, while the struggling Mammoth remain in fourth place in the division.
Saskatchewan opened the scoring just three minutes and 20 seconds into the game when Matthew Dinsdale notched a shorthanded tally. Colorado wouldn’t get on the board until 10 minutes later, followed quickly by the Rush’s second goal of the game, this time from Jeff Shattler, the first of three from the veteran lefty.
The teams would trade goals in the second quarter, with the Rush extending their lead to two goals by the end of the half and it was more of the same in the third, with Colorado notching the first goal of the half and Saskatchewan getting two back to take a three-goal lead into the fourth quarter.
The Mammoth fought back hard in the final frame, scoring a minute-and-a-half in and outscoring the Rush 3-1 over the first 10 minutes of the quarter. But an empty-net goal from Rush defender Brett Mydske sealed the deal with the clock winding down.
Goaltenders Evan Kirk and Dillon Ward played like the world-class talent they are in the game. Kirk stopped 36 shots for the Rush in the win while Ward turned away 40 shots for the Mammoth.
Mark Matthews led the offence for the Rush, scoring twice and adding three assists, while Colorado was paced by Ryan Benesch who also had a five-point night (1 G, 4 A).
The Rush homestand continues next weekend when they face their arch-rivals, the Calgary Roughnecks. Meanwhile, the Mammoth travel to New England to take on the Black Wolves.