The Edmonton Rush won the franchise’s first-ever National Lacrosse League title with an 11-10 win over the Toronto Rock at home on Friday night. While several Rush players had an impressive showing during the series that saw Edmonton take down Toronto 2-0 in the best-of-three setup, forward Mark Matthews shined the brightest en route to winning the 2015 NLL Champion’s Cup Finals Most Valuable Player award.
Matthews, who led all NLL players in postseason points (27) and goals (13), had six points (3+3) in Edmonton’s 15-9 win over Toronto in Game 1 on the road. The 25-year-old followed it up with an epic performance in the Game 2 clincher, scoring five goals, including one with 0.1 seconds left in the first half and another crucial leaping goal in transition late in the fourth quarter, while also adding three assists.
The runner up in the NLL regular season scoring race with a team-record 115 points (53+62), Matthews’ 53 goals were also the second-most by any NLL player as the Rush finished atop the West Division.
The Oshawa, Ontario native, who played collegiately at the University of Denver, won the 2013 NLL Rookie of the Year award after his 38 goals were the third-most by an NLL rookie in history. Edmonton selected Matthews with the first overall pick of the 2012 NLL Draft.