The Saskatchewan Rush hope to stay on a roll. They are looking to complete the home-and-home sweep Saturday against the Stealth and capture a fourth straight victory.
The trip to Vancouver came with much more rest than last Saturday's SaskTel Centre showdown. The Rush recorded a character 11-9 win over Vancouver after a day of trains, planes and automobiles right to the rink following last Friday's 13-10 win in Colorado.
Saskatchewan will be looking for the same types of efforts from Robert Church and Mark Matthews who combined for 4 goals and 13 points. They also hope the power play which was 3-for-4 remains hot and is leading the NLL at 69.4%.
However, the Rush wants to turn things around in the third quarter. After dominating right after the half in the first four games of the season, they have been outscored 20-8 in the last four.
Coach and GM Derek Keenan said the trend continued last Saturday against the Stealth.
“It was a tight game,” said Keenan who saw fatigue become a factor at the beginning of the second half.
“We had a bad, but not a great third quarter I would say again, so it’s funny, the game can be such a game of runs, I think the first four games our third quarters were incredible and our last three or four haven’t been so good, so we will have to figure out how to come out stronger in the second half.”
Veteran defender Ryan Dilks said in addition to being a much more rested team, the Rush should also better prepared strategically.
“Now we have some good game film on them, we can really work off that, but it goes the same way for them, they know what we are going to do now,” said Dilks.
On paper the game looks like a miss-match with the league-leading 7-1 Rush who are 5-0 on the road, heading into Vancouver against the 1-7 Stealth. However, the Saskatchewan side still remembers giving up big leads in their lone 16-15 overtime loss to Buffalo and Dilks pointed out you can’t afford to take any team for granted.
“It really just comes down to who’s going to show up, a great example is Calgary went into Toronto’s barn (last weekend) and spanked them 16-8, this league is so unpredictable, it’s so hard, it’s really whoever shows up and wants to win.”,
Tyler Carlson played a starring role in last week’s win over Vancouver with 39 saves, but expect Evan Kirk to get the start in goal as he goes after a league-leading seventh victory.
The game gets underway at 9 p.m. with the Rush-Hour pregame show on 98-COOL signing on at 7.