Saskatchewan Rush – A Playoff review
Published: Monday, May 22nd 2017, 7:05pm
I have been lucky enough to see some pretty big games in my life. The 2013 Grey Cup. 2014 Eastern Conference Final Game 7 between Anaheim and LA (which happened to be Teemu Selanne’s last career NHL game). The last regular season game at Mellon Arena. The electricity in the air from the crowd at big events is one of the things I love about sports, and it was very prevalent on Saturday night during Game 2 of the NLL Division Finals between the Saskatchewan Rush and the Colorado Mammoth. Over 14,000 fans filled the Sasktel Center, hoping to see their home team win their way to a berth in their third consecutive Champions Cup final. Rally towels were waving, crowd was screaming, and first faceoff hadn’t even happened yet.
Start to finish, fans were treated with an amazing back and forth game of Lacrosse that never saw either team lead by more than 3 goals. The Rush made it 9-8 with 6 seconds left in the 3rd quarter (hmm, does that score sound familiar) and would jump out with another pair of early goals in the 4th to make it 11-8 Rush. While it looked like the Rush would run away in the 4th again, the Mammoth would not go down quite as easily as they did to close out game 1 (18-9). The Mammoth closed the gap to 11-10 but could not manage a tying goal with their net empty in the dying moments of the game.
It’s no coincidence their two teams made it this far, as their goaltending is amongst the best in the league. Both Aaron Bold and Dillon Ward were in great form throughout the game, making save after save to keep their respective teams close. It took highlight reel goals at both ends to put many of the goals on the board.
Mark Matthews led the way for the Saskatchewan Rush with 2 goals and 4 assists as the Rush earn their trip to take on Georgia in the Champions Cup. The series starts with Game 1 in Georgia on Sunday, June 4th before the series shifts back to Saskatoon for game 2 on Saturday June 10th. Tickets for that game go on sale to the public on Wednesday, May 24th. The Rush will be in tough against the league leading Georgia Swarm as they look to win their 3rd consecutive Champions Cup title.
On an unrelated note – The hit of the game goes to Connor Gulka of the Rush executive team for his late tackle on a clown who decided to hop the glass and become part of the action late in the 4th quarter. Suit and all, Connor rushed out to pull him off the field, and took him down with a hip toss that MMA fighters would be proud of.
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