NLL: Saskatchewan bests Panther City in season finale

Saskatchewan Rush @ PCLC 4.30.22 Dickies Arena (Photo: Mary Adger Bowen)

The Saskatchewan Rush beat the Panther City Lacrosse Club 13-9 on Saturday night to wrap up their seasons. With the win, the Rush finish with an 8-10 record, in fourth place in the West Division; PCLC ends the season at 7-11, in fifth place.

The season has to be considered a huge disappointment for the Rush, a team that hasn’t missed the payoffs in more than a decade. A team that has won the division every single year since they moved to Saskatoon in 2016.

In Fort Worth, however, having Panther City finish their inaugural season with seven wins, ahead of three other teams in the overall standings, and compete for a playoff spot, has to be considered a success.

The Rush got off to a quick start, notching two early power play goals before PCLC responded with two of their own. Saskatchewan’s Jeff Cornwall then pushed his team ahead again by converting a steal into a breakaway. Panther City responded late in the quarter with two more goals, taking a one-goal lead to the second quarter.

Rush defenceman Kyle Rubisch tied the game with a rare goal of his own, just nine seconds into the quarter, but again, PCLC responded, sniping two goals in the next two-and-a-half minutes to extend their lead to two goals. The teams traded goals the rest of the quarter, with neither team able to get a run going. Panther City went to the locker room at halftime with a one-goal lead.

Saskatchewan came out aggressively in the third quarter, scoring three times in the first five minutes, including a short-handed tally from Dan Lintner. Holden Garlent added a fourth goal to the run at the 9:54 mark to give the Rush a three-goal lead. Connor Sellars finally broke the run late in the quarter with his second of the night.

The Rush did all the scoring in the final frame, adding two more goals to their total, and giving them the 13-9 victory.

And so Saskatchewan wraps up the season on a four-game winning streak, while PCLC lost their last two. Now both teams will go back to the drawing board and spend the next few months working on how to improve for next year.