February 24, 2012

Defender Suddons Provides Offense For Rush

from press release

EDMONTON – For a goal-starved club the Edmonton Rush got an offensive spark from an unlikely source as defender Derek Suddons tallied two goals, including the game-winner, as the Rush defeated the Philadelphia Wings 12-10 Friday in National Lacrosse League action at Crystal Glass Field at Rexall Place.

In the first game back on home turf for Edmonton after a four-game road trip, the Rush snapped a three-game losing skid and improved to 2-4 on the season with the victory. 

Suddons’ second goal of the game, in transition off an outlet pass from goaltender Aaron Bold in the fourth quarter, held up as the winner as Edmonton dropped Philadelphia (4-3) in the first of two meetings between the clubs this season.

“Guys make plays and that’s what you need,” said Rush head coach/GM Derek Keenan. “When you’re struggling a little bit like we have been, especially to score, you need a guy or two to step up in transition and he (Suddons) did.”

“I’ve tried to run the ball as much as I can this year and create transition with our defense and luckily enough I was able to get a couple of shots off tonight,” said Suddons, who scored on his only two shots of the game and doubled his goal total from last season.

“The win is obviously the biggest part, because of the standings, but we scored some goals,” Keenan added. “We put 12 on the board and that’s a good number for us because we think we’ll be 10-or-under every night with our defense and goaltending. That’s the kind of effort we need every night out of our guys in all areas and I think the difference in the game is...we outran them tonight and that was key.” 

Zack Greer (3G, 1A) had a hat trick for the victors and Ryan Ward (1G, 3A) and Scott Evans (4A) had four-points each. Suddons (2G, 1A and five loose balls) was named the game’s top star and Shawn Williams (1G, 2A), Corey Small (1G, 1A), Brett Mydske (1G), Tom Johnson (1G) and Aaron Wilson (1G) added singles. Defender Kyle Rubisch had three assists and scooped nine loose balls. 

Philadelphia had big efforts from Drew Westervelt (3G, 3A), Kevin Crowley (4G, 1A) and Dan Dawson (5A), while Brodie Merrill (2G, 1A & 12) had a game-high 12 loose balls. Rush netminder Bold (2-4) stopped 37-of-47 shots on net and Philadelphia’s Brandon Miller was tagged with the loss in a 36-save effort. 

Philadelphia opened the scoring shorthanded just over three minutes into the first quarter and then after more than seven minutes of scoreless play Edmonton answered back in transition when John Lintz fed Ward down the middle and his deft shot from the top of the crease beat Miller. The Rush continued the run late in the opening frame when Wilson cut to the middle and fired past Miller with 17-seconds remaining as Edmonton took a 2-1 lead. 

The second frame provided more fireworks than the opening stanza as the clubs combined for four goals in less than two minutes as Edmonton poured in three consecutive tallies when Small went airborne and dunked over Miller at 5:58 on the power-play and Greer followed with an off-balance ripper 37-seconds later and then Suddons’ shorthanded tally put Edmonton up 5-1. 

Philadelphia responded with three goals in-a-row, including two power-play markers, to make it a one-goal bulge and Bold make two huge saves on close-range shots by Philadelphia in the final minute of the half as Edmonton took a 5-4 lead into halftime while outshooting the Wings 24-18. 

In the third quarter the clubs traded goals like boxers with punches as Greer nailed his second tally of the night off a nifty spin move at 4:07 and the Wings answered back just 21-seconds later before Lafontaine fired through a crowd to give Edmonton a 7-5 lead. Greer later notched his hat trick goal and team-leading 11th of the season to put the Rush up 8-6 into the final frame. 

The flurry of goals continued in the fourth quarter as Mydske, Johnson and Suddons, with his second of the night, put Edmonton up 11-7 before Philadelphia went on a three-goal run to climb within one marker with the score 11-10. 

Williams iced the contest for the Rush with a crease dunk on the power-play with less-than one-minute remaining for Edmonton’s 12-10 victory. 

The Rush are off on a bye-week before returning to Rexall Place Friday March 9 against the Calgary Roughnecks in the second round of the Battle of Alberta before the two clubs matchup the next night at Scotiabank Saddledome in the back-half of the home-and-away weekend series.     

Rush mush: EDM is 2-1 head-to-head with PHI…EDM went 1-for-3 on the power-play… EDM outshot PHI 48-47... Shawn Williams appeared in his 185th consecutive NLL game... EDM scratched T Jesse Fehr, D Chris Corbeil (injured) and T Paul Rabil (Hold-out list)…the two clubs meet again March 17 at Philadelphia…The Rush have three players: D Kyle Rubisch, G Aaron Bold and F Williams and head coach Derek Keenan at Saturday’s NLL All-Star Game in Buffalo. 

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