The Edmonton Rush (3-0) raised the jersey number 81 of former captain Jimmy Quinlan to the rafters of Rexall Place before dropping the Calgary Roughnecks (1-2) by a score of 15-8 in the Battle of Alberta on Friday.
Quinlan, now an assistant coach with the team and the last member of the original Rush squad, had his jersey become the first lacrosse sweater hanging atop the House That Wayne Gretzky Built.
After the ceremony, the Rush jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first quarter and used a dominating second quarter to go ahead 8-3 at halftime. The teams traded goals in the third with Edmonton up 13-8 headed into the final frame.
“I think they are a good defensive team but we played into their hand all night and we can’t do that,” said Calgary's Scott Ranger. "If we want to compete with teams in the league, we have to execute our gameplan and not let them dictate it. They are a great defence and not to take anything away from them but we have to be a lot better.”
Mark Matthews was named the game's first star with seven points (4+3), Curtis Knight also scored four goals, captain Chris Corbeil had a hat trick with five points (3+2) and rookie Riley Loewen had four assists.
Rush goaltender Aaron Bold was on top of his game with 38 saves on 46 shots while Calgary's Mike Poulin and Frankie Scigliano combined for 36 stops on 51 shots allowed.
Dane Dobbie scored a hat trick for the Roughnecks and added an assist while last year's NLL MVP Shawn Evans had three helpers for Calgary as did rookie Karsen Leung. Transition player Geoff Snider recorded his 100th career NLL goal in the setback and 10-year NLL veteran Scott Ranger reached 400 career points with a pair of goals.
“We just got outplayed, they wanted it more,” Ranger said. “We didn’t execute our gameplan. The coaching staff has a lot of experience and we have to execute it that way. We have to have a short memory and get ready for tomorrow night.”
The Roughnecks return to action tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 18, when Calgary hosts the Vancouver Stealth in the Calgary Police Services Night at 9 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Saddledome.
“We just have to put this one behind us and re-focus up,” said Scigliano, who came in for relief of starter Mike Poulin partway through the second quarter. “We have a long bus ride ahead of us, and that will clear the head for tomorrow.”
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Mark Matthews
2) Chris Corbeil
3) Dane Dobbie