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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
FINAL
Philadelphia
8
Halifax
18
Sat, Dec 3
17:00:00
Vancouver
Toronto
Sat, Dec 3
19:30:00
San Diego
New York
Sat, Dec 3
19:30:00
Albany
Buffalo
Sat, Dec 3
20:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
Sat, Dec 3
20:30:00
Colorado
Saskatchewan
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Sat, Dec 10
19:00:00
Toronto
Rochester
Sat, Dec 10
21:30:00
Vancouver
Calgary
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Fri, Dec 16
22:30:00
Panther City
Las Vegas
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Rochester
Albany
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Georgia
Sat, Dec 17
19:30:00
Halifax
New York
Sat, Dec 17
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Dec 30
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Dec 31
21:00:00
Panther City
Saskatchewan
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
22:30:00
Philadelphia
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Panther City
Rochester
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Halifax
Albany
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Buffalo
Georgia
Sat, Jan 7
19:30:00
Toronto
New York
Sat, Jan 7
22:00:00
Vancouver
San Diego
Sun, Jan 8
0:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
18:30:00
Albany
Halifax
Fri, Jan 13
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Colorado
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Halifax
Toronto
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Panther City
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 14
19:30:00
Georgia
Buffalo
Sat, Jan 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Jan 14
22:00:00
Las Vegas
Vancouver
Sun, Jan 15
15:00:00
Rochester
New York
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
19:30:00
Buffalo
Rochester
Fri, Jan 20
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
New York
Albany
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
18:00:00
Rochester
Halifax
Fri, Jan 27
19:00:00
Buffalo
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 28
19:30:00
Buffalo
New York
Sat, Jan 28
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Saskatchewan
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
Toronto
Calgary
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Jan 28
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
21:00:00
Georgia
Colorado
Sat, Feb 4
18:00:00
Calgary
Halifax
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
New York
Toronto
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
Albany
Philadelphia
Sat, Feb 4
19:30:00
Rochester
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Panther City
San Diego
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 4
22:30:00
Colorado
Las Vegas
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
19:30:00
Toronto
Georgia
Fri, Feb 10
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Sat, Feb 11
19:00:00
Halifax
Rochester
Sat, Feb 11
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Feb 11
20:00:00
Vancouver
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
21:00:00
Colorado
Calgary
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Georgia
Toronto
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Las Vegas
Albany
Sat, Feb 18
19:30:00
Philadelphia
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 18
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
13:00:00
New York
Halifax
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
21:00:00
Panther City
Colorado
Fri, Feb 24
22:30:00
Calgary
Las Vegas
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
New York
Rochester
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
Albany
Georgia
Sat, Feb 25
20:00:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
18:30:00
Buffalo
Halifax
Fri, Mar 3
21:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sat, Mar 4
11:30:00
New York
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Rochester
Toronto
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Mar 4
20:00:00
Saskatchewan
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Mar 10
21:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
Sat, Mar 11
19:00:00
Albany
Toronto
Sat, Mar 11
19:30:00
Philadelphia
New York
Sat, Mar 11
20:30:00
San Diego
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 11
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sun, Mar 12
16:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Fri, Mar 17
22:00:00
San Diego
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 18
11:00:00
Georgia
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 18
18:00:00
Toronto
Halifax
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Colorado
Buffalo
Sat, Mar 18
20:00:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
20:30:00
San Diego
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Toronto
Albany
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Halifax
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 25
19:30:00
Georgia
New York
Sat, Mar 25
21:30:00
Calgary
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Buffalo
San Diego
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Colorado
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 25
22:30:00
Rochester
Las Vegas
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
20:00:00
New York
Georgia
Fri, Mar 31
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Colorado
Fri, Mar 31
22:00:00
Calgary
San Diego
Sat, Apr 1
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Apr 1
20:00:00
Albany
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
21:30:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
Sun, Apr 2
13:00:00
Georgia
Halifax
Sun, Apr 2
18:00:00
Rochester
Philadelphia
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Albany
Rochester
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Saskatchewan
Georgia
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Panther City
Calgary
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Vancouver
Colorado
Sat, Apr 8
22:30:00
San Diego
Las Vegas
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Calgary
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Toronto
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Apr 15
19:30:00
New York
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 15
21:30:00
Halifax
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 15
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
20:30:00
Calgary
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
18:00:00
New York
Halifax
Sat, Apr 22
19:00:00
Georgia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 22
20:00:00
Toronto
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 22
21:30:00
Colorado
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 22
22:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sun, Apr 23
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Albany
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Buffalo
Albany
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Halifax
Georgia
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
Colorado
San Diego
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
New York
Vancouver
Sat, Apr 29
22:30:00
Saskatchewan
Las Vegas
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Stories/Op-Ed

Saskatchewan Hopes To Not “Miss A Beat” As They Get Set To Begin The 2021-22 Season

When the 2019-20 National Lacrosse League season was suspended and ultimately cut short without crowning a champion because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saskatchewan Rush were sitting atop the West Division with a record of 7-3.  When play was halted, the Rush was one of the favorites to win a championship and that has been familiar territory for them.  When they called Edmonton home, the Rush won an NLL title in 2015 and they’ve won two more since relocating to Saskatchewan capturing the NLL Championship in 2016 and 2018.

In their overall franchise history dating back to 2006, the Rush has won three championships, reached the championship game five times and won seven division titles.

And now as the NLL returns to play for the 2021-22 season, the Rush will hope for business as usual, but with a lot of new faces. It may take some time to find that customary championship contender form.

“Hopefully the expectation is that we’re not going to miss a beat and we’re going to continue to be where we were,” said new Head Coach Jeff McComb who takes over for Derek Keenan who will focus on his General Manager duties.

McComb was named the Rush Head Coach in August of 2020 but he will make his head coaching debut this season because the NLL cancelled the 2020-21 season because of the pandemic.  Keenan was behind the bench for eight seasons all with McComb on the staff in some capacity but decided it was time to turn the reigns over to his trusted long-time assistant.  McComb and Keenan have worked together at multiple levels of lacrosse for more than 18 years so while there is a change behind the Rush bench, it should be a seamless change.

In the words of Billy Joel, you could describe the relationship between McComb and Keenan as “A Matter Of Trust”.

“I think we built that trust together,” said McComb.  “Derek let his assistant coaches do their job.  He trusted them.  He built that trust and once you earned it, he let you do your job.  I think that’s really empowering for the people that you work with.  From a philosophy standpoint, we’re fairly close on a lot of things so that helped in terms of the lacrosse relationship.”

The Rush will bring back a good portion of their 2019-20 team, but the roster underwent some changes during two off-seasons, the first coming when there was hope for a 2020-21 season and the second in preparation for the 2021-22 season.  Among the returning players will be the top two scorers from 2019-20 team, forwards Mark Matthews (13 goals and 41 assists for 54 points) and Robert Church (17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points).

Saskatchewan signed ten-year NLL veteran defenseman Matt Beers and acquired via free agency, trade, and entry draft forwards Marshall Powless, Josh Currier, and Dan Lintner as well as defenseman Bobby Kidd.

“We brought in a number of new people,” said McComb.  “This was a training camp where we’ve done the most teaching that we’ve ever done on both the (offensive) and (defensive) ends to put our systems in and get guys to understand where our systems are.  We’re a fairly structured team at both ends of the floor so they need to understand the structure and learn it.  You really can’t learn it without playing it so it might take us a little bit.”

The last time that the Rush played in a regular season game was on March 7th, 2020 when they beat the Vancouver Warriors 17-7.  It was not long after that when our world changed and we would not see another NLL game for quite some time.  So, for the first time in what seems like forever, the Rush will play a game this Saturday night when they open up the season on the road against the Halifax Thunderbirds.

The Rush will play their home opener on December 11th against the Calgary Roughnecks, but first things first and that is this Saturday in Halifax.

“It almost seems a little bit surreal,” said McComb.  “I’m not sure we’ll fully understand until we get to Halifax and maybe start our shootaround in the morning.  Everybody is obviously fired up.  We just want to get there and get it started.”

While the league has not had any games since the 2019-20 season was suspended, the NLL has been busy continuing to grow and carve out a niche across North America.  This season, the NLL returns to Albany as the New England Black Wolves relocated to the capital of New York State to become the Albany FireWolves.  Also, Panther City Lacrosse Club joins the NLL as an expansion club and will bring the total number of franchises up to 14.  That number will grow to 15 next year when the Las Vegas expansion team begins play for the 2022-23 season.

Throw in brand-new television deals with TSN in Canada and ESPN in the United States and you see why the National Lacrosse League continues to get stronger and stronger.

“I love the momentum of where we’re going,” said McComb. The television deals are huge.  The momentum is going in the right direction and I don’t think we’ve seen this much momentum before.  It’s an exciting time to be a part of it.”

Business is good for the NLL and the Saskatchewan Rush know all about business being good.  They have been as close to a dynasty as you could possibly have in the sport as the Rush look to capture the fourth championship in franchise history.  There is a new but familiar voice behind the bench and there will be a number of new players on the field, but the mission statement remains the same.

“At the end of it, we’re going to be one of the teams that are going to be able to compete for a championship,” said McComb.

The resume of the front office, coaching staff and the roster suggests that is going to be a very strong possibility.

NLL