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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
6:00 pm ET
Wings
Thunderbirds
Sat, Dec 3
5:00 pm ET
Warriors
Rock
Sat, Dec 3
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Bandits
Sat, Dec 3
7:30 pm ET
Seals
Riptide
Sat, Dec 3
8:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Swarm
Sat, Dec 3
8:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Rush
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
8:30 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Seals
Sat, Dec 10
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Knighthawks
Sat, Dec 10
9:30 pm ET
Warriors
Roughnecks
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Warriors
Fri, Dec 16
10:30 pm ET
Panther City
Desert Dogs
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Rock
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Swarm
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
FireWolves
Sat, Dec 17
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Riptide
Sat, Dec 17
8:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Bandits
Fri, Dec 30
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Roughnecks
Sat, Dec 31
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Rush
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
10:30 pm ET
Wings
Desert Dogs
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Swarm
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Panther City
Knighthawks
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
FireWolves
Sat, Jan 7
7:30 pm ET
Rock
Riptide
Sat, Jan 7
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 7
10:00 pm ET
Warriors
Seals
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
6:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Thunderbirds
Fri, Jan 13
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 14
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Rock
Sat, Jan 14
7:00 pm ET
Panther City
Wings
Sat, Jan 14
7:30 pm ET
Swarm
Bandits
Sat, Jan 14
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Roughnecks
Sat, Jan 14
10:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Warriors
Sun, Jan 15
3:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Riptide
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
7:30 pm ET
Bandits
Knighthawks
Fri, Jan 20
10:30 pm ET
Warriors
Desert Dogs
Sat, Jan 21
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Wings
Sat, Jan 21
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
FireWolves
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
6:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Thunderbirds
Fri, Jan 27
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Wings
Sat, Jan 28
7:30 pm ET
Bandits
Riptide
Sat, Jan 28
8:30 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Rush
Sat, Jan 28
9:00 pm ET
Rock
Roughnecks
Sat, Jan 28
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 28
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Warriors
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
9:00 pm ET
Swarm
Mammoth
Sat, Feb 4
6:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Thunderbirds
Sat, Feb 4
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Rock
Sat, Feb 4
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Wings
Sat, Feb 4
7:30 pm ET
Knighthawks
Bandits
Sat, Feb 4
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Seals
Sat, Feb 4
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Warriors
Sat, Feb 4
10:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Desert Dogs
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
7:30 pm ET
Rock
Swarm
Fri, Feb 10
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Roughnecks
Sat, Feb 11
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Knighthawks
Sat, Feb 11
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Riptide
Sat, Feb 11
8:00 pm ET
Warriors
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
9:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Roughnecks
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Seals
Fri, Feb 17
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Warriors
Sat, Feb 18
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
Rock
Sat, Feb 18
7:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
FireWolves
Sat, Feb 18
7:30 pm ET
Wings
Bandits
Sat, Feb 18
8:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
1:00 pm ET
Riptide
Thunderbirds
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Mammoth
Fri, Feb 24
10:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Desert Dogs
Sat, Feb 25
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Swarm
Sat, Feb 25
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Knighthawks
Sat, Feb 25
8:00 pm ET
Warriors
Rush
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
6:30 pm ET
Bandits
Thunderbirds
Sat, Mar 4
11:30 am ET
Riptide
Wings
Sat, Mar 4
4:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Seals
Sat, Mar 4
7:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Rock
Sat, Mar 4
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
FireWolves
Sat, Mar 4
8:00 pm ET
Rush
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Wings
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Bandits
Fri, Mar 10
9:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Mammoth
Sat, Mar 11
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Rock
Sat, Mar 11
7:30 pm ET
Wings
Riptide
Sat, Mar 11
8:30 pm ET
Seals
Rush
Sat, Mar 11
10:30 pm ET
Warriors
Desert Dogs
Sun, Mar 12
4:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Swarm
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Roughnecks
Fri, Mar 17
10:00 pm ET
Seals
Warriors
Sat, Mar 18
11:00 am ET
Swarm
Wings
Sat, Mar 18
6:00 pm ET
Rock
Thunderbirds
Sat, Mar 18
7:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Bandits
Sat, Mar 18
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Riptide
Sat, Mar 18
8:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
3:00 pm ET
Wings
Knighthawks
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
8:30 pm ET
Seals
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Wings
Sat, Mar 25
7:00 pm ET
Rock
FireWolves
Sat, Mar 25
7:30 pm ET
Swarm
Riptide
Sat, Mar 25
9:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Rush
Sat, Mar 25
10:00 pm ET
Bandits
Seals
Sat, Mar 25
10:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Warriors
Sat, Mar 25
10:30 pm ET
Knighthawks
Desert Dogs
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Swarm
Fri, Mar 31
9:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Mammoth
Fri, Mar 31
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Seals
Sat, Apr 1
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Rock
Sat, Apr 1
8:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
9:30 pm ET
Warriors
Rush
Sun, Apr 2
1:00 pm ET
Swarm
Thunderbirds
Sun, Apr 2
6:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Wings
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
7:00 pm ET
Rush
Swarm
Sat, Apr 8
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 8
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Roughnecks
Sat, Apr 8
9:00 pm ET
Warriors
Mammoth
Sat, Apr 8
10:30 pm ET
Seals
Desert Dogs
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
9:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Roughnecks
Fri, Apr 14
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Mammoth
Sat, Apr 15
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Rock
Sat, Apr 15
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
FireWolves
Sat, Apr 15
7:30 pm ET
Riptide
Bandits
Sat, Apr 15
9:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Rush
Sat, Apr 15
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Warriors
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
8:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
6:00 pm ET
Riptide
Thunderbirds
Sat, Apr 22
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 22
8:00 pm ET
Rock
Bandits
Sat, Apr 22
9:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Rush
Sat, Apr 22
10:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Seals
Sun, Apr 23
3:00 pm ET
Wings
FireWolves
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Swarm
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
FireWolves
Sat, Apr 29
10:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Seals
Sat, Apr 29
10:00 pm ET
Riptide
Warriors
Sat, Apr 29
10:30 pm ET
Rush
Desert Dogs
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Stories/Op-Ed

Eastbound & Down: Rush At Rock In Primetime

After an overtime thriller two weeks ago between the Edmonton Rush (5-4) and the Toronto Rock (10-2), the two division leaders will battle again in a rematch that promises to keep fans on the edge of their seats. The Rush will fly in to play the Rock at Air Canada Centre on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET live on TSN 2 and TSN GO in Canada and WatchESPN in the United States.

Previous to its win over the Vancouver Stealth last Saturday night, the Rush suffered two heartbreaking overtime losses, including one to the Toronto Rock. After accepting a challenge from their coaches, the team went on to break a franchise record for goals in a game with 19.

“The challenge was ‘let’s go back to being a tenacious team, to putting that compete level to the highest that we can,'” Keenan said after Saturday night’s game. “And I think we did tonight, we really answered the bell.”

Now it’s up the Rush to keep playing urgent as they get another chance to beat the league leaders and solidify their perch atop the West Division. They currently only sit a half game up on Colorado for the West Division lead.

Not only did last week’s game see Mark Matthews break out and set the franchise record for most points in a regular season game with nine (4+5), but it also saw Tyler Melynk score not just his first NLL goal in his first game, but three more and one assist to give him a five point debut.

“It was awesome just being able to step into the lineup and to be able to contribute with four goals, I didn’t really expect to hop in and do that right away,” said Melnyk.

Melynk saw the floor with an injury to Rush left-handed forward Riley Loewen, but after his impressive debut, you may see both players in the lineup on Saturday.

“We like all of our offensive guys, including Tyler and Riley Loewen,” said Keenan. “And it’s a great luxury to have that depth. We like what they both bring so you never know, you might see both of them.”

Melnyk knows that even if he is put back into the lineup immediately, that he still has to work on the things that have lead to his early success.

“I just have to keep on working, try to get into those dirty areas, and get guys open because that will create chances for myself,” said Melnyk. “Just have to keep working and battling and hope the opportunities keep coming.”

The Rush selected Melnyk, an Alberta native, 19th overall in the 2014 NLL Entry Draft.

An emotional weekend split against the Buffalo Bandits in Week 11 is perhaps just what the doctor ordered for the Rock as they start the trek into the final third of the season schedule.

While last week did come with a defeat – their first in seven games – Toronto comes from the perilous journey with a refined sense of companionship and continuity. Fights, lopsided scoring runs and emotions were aplenty during Toronto and Buffalo’s breaking of the bread, and for the Rock, it registers as a positive.

“Situations like that can really help the character of team and build the character of a team, we’re becoming a tighter knit group every game,” said Rock assistant captain Sandy Chapman.

Chapman was a part of what can be described as a very aggressive defensive unit in Week 11. Three different Rock players dropped the mitts, Rob Marshall gave Bandit captain John Tavares an arguable cheap shot, inspiring Buffalo coach Troy Cordingley to lose his temper, and Patrick Merrill delivered a couple of crushing blows to Chad Culp and Dhane Smith.

“The events and emotions that get played up from [the weekend] can really bring a team closer together,” said Chapman. “Although Friday was a loss we can take a feeling of trust from that.”

That feeling of trust now resinates in the Rock dressing room as they get ready to host the West Division’s top team in the Edmonton Rush. A polished Toronto defense will have an opportunity to redeem their previous effort against the Rush, an effort of which included a season-high 15 goals against.

“I believe Edmonton is still the strongest team in the West Division, if not the strongest team in the league,” said Rock head coach John Lovell, who has carried the Rock to its best-ever start to a season. “They are good in every area, we had a great game with them in Edmonton. Both teams probably gave up more goals then they would have liked to.”

“We’re expecting a really tough game and we’re looking forward to it,” he said.

In the teams’ last meeting nearly three weeks ago, the Rock came away with a nail-bitting 16-15 victory in overtime. A pat on the back can go to the league’s leading point-getter Rob Hellyer, who sniped the OT winner from the left half-boards.

But this came after a disastrous fourth quarter for the Rock. Nearly 10 minutes of tenuous play allowed the Rush to scratch and claw their way back into the game after being down 15-11 in the fourth frame. Four-straight Rush goals (over 6:22) made overtime inevitable, but the Rock – as they have done all season – overcame the adversity by shutting the door for nearly five minutes in extra time.

Toronto will play four of its next five games at home, a place they have been without failure all season. While holding a 5-0 record at the Air Canada Centre, the Rock have a goal differential of +10. Only once have Toronto’s defensive unit allowed more than 11 goals on home floor (New England scored 12 times in a losing effort on February 20).

It’s not difficult to find attribution. The Rock lead the league in just about every statistical category excluding faceoff percentage (.343). No other team has gobbled up more loose balls, or shot more times on target. No other team has a higher powerplay percentage (55.77) and penalty kill success rate (71.19).

By Mike Wilson (@RushBeat) & Justin Millerson (@RockBeatToronto) for NLL.com. Photo by Graig Abel.

NLL