Photo Credit: Richard Olson
The Edmonton Rush earned their first win of 2012 and kept the Washington Stealth winless with a 16-5 victory on Saturday night at the Comcast Arena.
Edmonton (1-1) kicked off a four-game road trip by scoring five times in the first 9:06. Corey Small had a goal and two assists during that scoring run.
Small finished with two goals and seven assists.
Shawn Williams, who set franchise single-game records with eight assists and nine assists during his Edmonton debut a week ago, chipped in with three goals and three assists versus the Stealth.
Aaron Bold stopped 43 of 48 shots to notch his first win with Edmonton.
“It all started in our back end tonight,” said Rush head coach-general manager Derek Keenan. “We mainly gave up outside lane shots and perimeter shots and Aaron Bold was solid for us. That was our objective.
“And our offense really got going, too. We had contributions from all over the floor so that was good to see. It’s about a 100 percent buy-in and about nobody caring who gets the goals and assists. It’s about the team offense concept and that’s the mindset of the group we have.”
Washington (0-3) got a goal and two assists from Rhys Duch. Tyler Richards stopped 31 of 47 shots in the loss.
“In the first two games, our defense and goaltending was holding us in,” said Stealth Assistant Coach Art Webster. “Then tonight our defense goes south and all the sudden we’re down five goals. We took some stupid penalties and didn’t play intelligent and it kept piling on.”
The Stealth took a pair of “stupid penalties” at the end of the first half, giving the Rush a five-on-three power play to start the third quarter, on which they capitalized to extend their lead to eight. Zack Greer scored the second of three goals on the night at the 3:12 mark of the third to make it 13-4 in favor of the Rush. Rhys Duch scored on the ensuing possession; the Stealth’s final tally of the night.
The five goals scored for the Stealth is the lowest total in a single game since the 2009 Western Division Final in which the Stealth lost 17-5. The Stealth has led the National Lacrosse League in goals scored in each of the last two seasons, averaging nearly 13 goals per game in that span.
“We are taking plenty of good shots, they just aren’t falling right now,” said Stealth All-Pro forward Rhys Duch after the game. “The three goaltenders we’ve faced this season have all played well, but the bottom line is we just need to finish better. And we have the talent on offense to do that.”
Washington (0-3) heads east to face the Buffalo Bandits on Saturday. Edmonton (1-1) plays the undefeated Colorado Mammoth on Saturday in Denver.