Matthews & McIntosh help Edmonton past Vancouver at the LEC in B.C.
The Edmonton Rush crashed the party on the opening night of the National Lacrosse League preseason with a 13-6 road win over the Vancouver Stealth on Saturday. The West Division rivals faced off at the packed Langley Events Centre Fieldhouse in preparation for another year and another shot at the Champion’s Cup.
Midway through the first quarter, Edmonton’s Tyler Melnyk opened the scoring, however Vancouver star forward Rhys Duch tied it up about a minute later. The Rush took a 3-1 lead into the second frame after two goals, the first by 2014 NLL first overall pick Ben McIntosh and another by former No. 1 pick Mark Matthews, in the final three minutes of the first.
Two more from Edmonton made it 5-1 just four minutes into the second quarter. The teams traded goals twice over the rest of the first half with the Rush holding a 7-3 halftime lead. Vancouver scored twice in the third quarter to pull within 8-5 after 45 minutes of play, and trailed only by two at 8-6 early in the fourth, but that was as close as the team would get.
The Rush took control when Matthews and McIntosh both scored again to extend the lead to 10-6 with roughly seven minutes left. Second-year pro and ’14 NLL All-Rookie Team member Robert Church made it 11-6 before the team added another pair of goals prior to the final whistle.
In the post-game shootout being used experimentally by the league exclusively during select preseason games, Rush defenseman and NLL Defensive Player of the Year Kyle Rubisch was one of two Edmonton players to find the net as they took down Vancouver, 2-1.
The Stealth host the Colorado Mammoth at the LEC Fieldhouse on Sunday at 12 p.m. ET while the Rush prepare for their “Battle of Alberta” preseason game on Saturday, Dec. 20 on the road at Scotiabank Saddledome against the Calgary Roughnecks.
Click here for a video recap from Saturday night’s scrimmage.