January 28, 2012

Rush Crush Stealth, 16-5; Small Tallies Nine Points

from press release

EVERETT, Wash. – With the combination of a high-octane offense and stingy defense the Edmonton Rush collected their first win of the 2012 National Lacrosse League campaign with a 16-5 rout over the Washington Stealth Saturday night at Comcast Arena in Everett.

In the first of two meetings between the West teams this season, Edmonton (1-1) began a four-game away trek in style as the Rush scored early and often to drop the winless Stealth to 0-3.

For the second time in as many games Edmonton rushed out to a fast start as the visitors quickly built up a 5-0 advantage and held an 11-4 lead at halftime before the club allowed a lone goal in the final two quarters en route to the victory.

Corey Small (2G, 7A) paced the Rush with an nine-point effort and goaltender Aaron Bold (1-1) grabbed his first win in Rush silks with 43 stops against 48 shots-on-net.

"It all started in our back end tonight," said Rush head coach/GM Derek Keenan. "We mainly gave up outside lane shots and perimeter shots and Aaron Bold was solid for us. That was our objective.

"And our offense really got going, too. We had contributions from all over the floor so that was good to see. It's about a 100-per-cent buy-in and about nobody caring who gets the goals and assists. It's about the team offense concept and that's the mindset of the group we have."

Edmonton had ten runners hit the scoreboard as Shawn Williams (3G, 3A) and Scott Evans (2G, 4A) each had six points, while Zack Greer (3G), Tom Johnson (2G, 3A), Aaron Wilson (2G, 2A), Ryan Ward (4A) had multiple points and both Chris Corbeil and Jimmy Quinlan added singles. D-man Kyle Rubisch scooped up 13 loose balls.

Washington goaltenders Tyler Richards and Chris Seidel both fell victim to the Rush onslaught.

Edmonton came out flying in the first quarter, scoring three times in the opening two minutes on tallies from Quinlan (1:31), Small (1:53) and Corbeil (2:00), followed by Wilson's first of the season less than three minutes later and Johnson's marker at 9:06.

Washington finally hit the board 27-seconds later and the teams then traded markers to close the opening frame with Edmonton up 6-2 and all the goals coming on even-strength play.

Johnson, the former Stealth, notched his second of the game early in the second quarter and the Rush offense poured in three of the next four goals with Small's second tally at 5:22 to chase Richards out of the cage. Williams then fired a power-play marker seconds later and a long-range bomb by Evans made it a seven-point bulge.

The teams each traded a goal with Edmonton up 11-4 at halftime despite trailing Washington 28-23 in shots-on-net and the Rush firepower in the first half was one-goal shy of tying a club record of 12 goals (Apr. 16/11 vs. TOR).

Edmonton started strong in the third quarter when Williams scored his second power-play marker of the night just 1:22 in and then after over ten minutes of no scoring, Greer added his second goal to put the Rush up 13-4.

The clubs would add one more goal each in the next 35-seconds as Washington's Rhys Duch drove hard to the net before Evans, with the man advantage, ripped his second of the game as Small collected his sixth assist.

In the final frame, Greer fired his third goal to give him a hat-trick for the second consecutive contest and Williams also notched his third marker and team-leading 15th point to close out the scoring in Edmonton's 16-5 win.

The five goals scored for the Stealth is the lowest total in a game since the 2009 Western Division Final in which it lost 17-5.

The Rush continues the second leg of the four-game road swing next Saturday Feb. 4th against the undefeated Colorado Mammoth and the next home action at Rexall Place for Edmonton is Feb. 24 against Brodie Merrill and the Philadelphia Wings.

Rush Mush: EDM is 6-12 head-to-head with WSH... EDM went 3-for-4 on the power-play and 3-for-4 on the PK... shots were 48-47 for WSH...Williams failed to convert a penalty shot in the 4th quarter...Edmonton scratched F Scott Tinning, T Jesse Fehr and G Kevin Croswell...the two clubs meet again Mar. 24 at Rexall Place.

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