Rush snap 12-game losing streak to Roughnecks

The Canadian Press
3/3/2013 2:05:10 AM
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CALGARY -- Backed by a giant effort from Ryan Ward, the Edmonton Rush ended four years of frustration on Saturday night.

Ward had two goals and eight assists as Edmonton snapped a 12-game regular season losing streak to Calgary with a resounding 18-13 victory over the Roughnecks in National Lacrosse League action.

"Our team just had the right mindset, attitude and work ethic all night and we dominated them," said Ward. "We're really happy in the locker room to turn the page. There are a lot mental things that come with that victory, too. "

On the night Kaleb Toth was honoured as the inaugural recipient of the Forever a Roughneck honour, Calgary played one of its worst home games in recent memory, looking nothing like the vaunted squad they were for much of Toth's 10 seasons with the team.

"They definitely wanted it more than we did," said Roughnecks coach Curt Malawsky. "We're making mistakes and they're ending up in the back of our net at this point. We just have to curb those mistakes and take care of our own backyard and we'll be fine."

A sign of how the night was going to go came in the opening two minutes as Ward set up goals 18 seconds apart by Corey Small and Curtis Knight that staked Edmonton to a quick 2-0 lead.

The Rush would never trail in the game, holding quarter leads of 3-2, 9-6 and 16-8.

"We've been close but enough with the excuses about how we're close to them and this and that, we just needed get in here and get a win," said Edmonton coach and general manager Derek Keenan. "It was a big win for us mentally to get over that hump and in the standings as well."

Zack Greer and Mark Matthews also had big nights for Edmonton (5-5) with three goals each. Small and Jarrett Davis had two goals apiece while Brett Mydske, Kyle Rubisch, Chris Corbeil, Ryan Dilks and Alex Turner also scored.

Jeff Shattler had three goals and three assists to lead Calgary (5-5), which has lost three of its last four. Joe Resetarits, Shawn Evans, Curtis Dickson and Dane Dobbie had two goals apiece. Greg Harnett and Daryl Veltman had one each.

The Rush have won two straight and four of their last five to pull even with Calgary in the West. The Washington Stealth (5-4) lead the division.

"We've got some new bodies in and it took a little bit to gel but I think we're really starting to find our stride," Ward said. "Our offensive unit is very unselfish and we work really well together. When we're doing that, we're moving and we're working, we're really dangerous."

Edmonton also improves its road record to an impressive 4-1 with three more games to go in its current stretch of five consecutive games away from Rexall Place.

"We're playing really well on the road. We get the whole group together, team meals, it seems to be a good formula for us but we have some tough ones coming up with Rochester, Buffalo and Toronto," said Keenan.

The Roughnecks continue to struggle at home, dropping to 1-3.

"Maybe what we're missing a little bit is the confidence and the ability to go out there and do it instead of waiting for things to happen," said Calgary captain Andrew McBride.

"It's been a crappy start to the year but you know what, we're still in a good spot," said McBride. "It's about peaking at the right time. We've had these conversations at the end of the year when we're 12-4 and don't get the job done.

"We can't panic, we can't turn on each other, we can't go out there and you were doing this, you were doing this, we just need to bond together as a team."

Edmonton blew the game open with five unanswered goals in a span of just over five minutes to start the third quarter.

Ward's power-play goal at 1:24 started the onslaught. Four different goal scorers followed as they stretched the lead to 14-6. In the middle of it all Calgary changed its goaltender a second time, as starter Mike Poulin was re-inserted for Frankie Scigliano.

In the third of four meetings between the two provincial rivals, tempers flared throughout the evening with a pair of fights, several skirmishes including a bunch of pushing and shoving after the game had ended.

Notes: At the conclusion of Toth's 25-minute pre-game ceremony, a banner with his name, number and photo was raised to the rafters of the Scotiabank Saddledome. Toth was joined by his wife and two kids for the ceremony that included a video tribute. Toth, who is Calgary's all-time leader in goals (274) and points (628), received an engraved wooden lacrosse stick and a tripa McBride played in career game No. 161, passing Toth and becoming the all-time franchise leadera Edmonton's next home game isn't until April 6 when they host Colorado... The Rush last won a regular season game in Calgary on April 6, 2007a Calgary was without veteran face-off man Geoff Snider, who served a one-game suspension.

Ryan Ward (Photo: NLL/Larry Palumbo)


(Photo: NLL/Larry Palumbo)
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