As the longest-serving member of the Rush, Brett Mydske went through a whole lot of lows back in the early days of the franchise followed by a ton of fun in the last few years.
Right now, the veteran defenceman and soon-to-be first-time dad is part of the team’s leadership group trying to dig the club out of a two-game rut. After back-to-back losses in Georgia and Toronto, the Saskatchewan Rush are a .500 team at 3-3. Not exactly where they thought they’d be after six games – one-third of the 2019 NLL season has already gone by.
Not to fear though. There’s every reason to expect the defending champs can get out of this skid and no better time to do it than when you’re hosting your arch-rival in a Saturday night tilt on your home turf.
“Coming home for a game against our number-one rivals is a great way to refocus because it’s not hard to get up for those types of games, that is for sure,” said Mydske, whose team is set to face the Calgary Roughnecks for the first of three editions in this year’s NLL Battle of the Prairies.
A friendly environment at SaskTel Centre might be exactly what the Rush need right now. After dropping the season-opener, they then posted three straight wins followed by their first two-game losing slump since the start of the 2017 – road games in Georgia and Toronto as well. Sometimes things just don’t go the way you’d hoped they would.
“Let’s face it, we’ve struggled, but we haven’t been getting many bounces either,” said Rush GM/head coach Derek Keenan.
“The good part is we have a great leadership group and we’re a good team. We’ve just got to play better. It’s always a good battle with Calgary so we’ll be ready.”
The Rush have not lost on their home turf to the Roughnecks since moving to Saskatoon. They are 6-0 in regular-season action and 2-0 in West Division Final playoff matchups.
Mydske is the Rush’s all-time leader in games played with 158 in regular-season play, and the New Westminster, B.C., product has only missed two games in his entire 10-year career. He’s seen the team go through much longer losing stretches than this current bump in the road, mostly notably the start of the 2011 campaign that saw the Rush lose five in a row, including both ends of a weekend doubleheader to Calgary.
But things have dramatically changed since then. The Rush are three-time league champions and lead the NLL in attendance.
There’s nothing the Rush fans like more than riding the Roughnecks for 60 minutes before sending them out of town in defeat.
“I think getting back at home playing in front of our home crowd against a divisional rival will be a good start,” said Mydske about getting the Rush back to their winning ways.
“We had a tough road trip. Both games we had bad first quarters, so we definitely have to start the game better.
“We want to put those games behind us right now. We are 3-3 right now with a bunch of divisional games ahead of us, which are extremely important. We just have to refocus and come ready to play at the start of the game.”