Saskatoon SK – An intense rivalry continues to develop between the Saskatchewan Rush and Vancouver Stealth, as the two teams met for a third time this season Saturday evening at SaskTel Centre. However despite the intensity of this matchup, once again it was Saskatchewan who came out on top. This time, by a score of 16-10.
A raucous and rowdy 14,057 Rush fans escaped the blizzard outside, while things heated up quickly inside. Vancouver bolted out of the gate taking a 3-1 lead, thanks to a Corey Small goal and two assists. Just minutes later came a barrage of Rush goals, as Saskatchewan outscored Vancouver 9-1 for the remainder of the first half. The first half charge was led by a hat-trick from Robert Church and 5 assists from Mark Matthews.
“We had a slow start and then a pretty good 10-15 minutes. Third quarter, we had a little 10 minute stretch where we weren’t so good and they got within 4, but then we turned it on again”, explained Robert Church. “We want to try and avoid those lulls, but tonight we played well for a good portion of the game.”
After starting the second half with a Ryan Keenan tally, Vancouver managed to muster a 3 goal run making it 11-7 Rush. Thereafter, the Rush sped away with no looking back. Newcomer Dan Dawson scored his first in Saskatchewan green, with just 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“Overall I thought we played well, but again we took our foot off the gas a couple times and it bites us. All in all, a 16-10 win is pretty good,” said Rush Head Coach and General Manager, Derek Keenan.
The Rush power play continued it’s dominance, scoring 4 with the man advantage. A 14 power play goal streak was on the line, however the streak ended in the fourth quarter. After a hectic few weeks, Saskatchewan (10-2) will have a bye week next week before travelling to Buffalo on March 16th.
Derek Keenan, couldn’t be happier. “We’ve got a break next week which I really think we need. We’ve been going pretty hard, including a back-to-back mixed in there. Aside from Rochester where we fell down, we’re looking good.”