The Saskatchewan Rush (6-3) kept pace in the West Division race with a 14-8 home win over the Georgia Swarm (4-6) before a near-record crowd of 13,720 at SaskTel Centre on Saturday night. On a night where the attendance marked the second-largest crowd in SaskTel Centre sporting event history, the Rush didn’t disappoint the hometown crowd, coming through with a convincing performance built off a strong start.
Rush forward Ben McIntosh opened the game with two goals as Saskatchewan raced out to a 4-1 lead after the first quarter with two goals in the final 1:24 of the frame. Mark Matthews scored two-straight to start the second quarter, before Jeff Cornwall added another 20 seconds later to make it 7-1. The Rush didn’t look back after entering halftime with a commanding 8-2 lead.
The two teams traded three goals each in both the third and fourth quarters as the Swarm were unable to pull any closer than a five-goal deficit throughout the second half. Georgia, the league’s highest scoring team this season, finished just 1-for-8 on the power play while Saskatchewan went 2-for-4.
Matthews had a game-high four goals and eight points (4+4), Ryan Dilks (2+2), Zack Greer (3+1) and Robert Church (1+3) each contributed four points, and Aaron Bold had 32 saves on 40 shots for the Rush.
Shayne Jackson led the way for the Swarm with five points (2+3), Randy Staats added four points (3+1), Jesse King had three assists and goalies Zack Higgins and Brodie MacDonald combined to make 44 saves on 58 shots.
Three Stars of the Game:
1) Ryan Dilks
2) Mark Matthews
3) Aaron Bold