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Aaron Bold Goalie

Bold's Journey To Rush Nation

01/07/2013, 2:30pm MST
By Edmonton Rush

As he packed up his gear, motorcycle, and assorted other belongings, there was nothing in Aaron Bold's voice to indicate he was dreading the journey that awaited him.

In fact, you could say there was at least a twinge of anticipation about the trek that would see him depart Mississauga, Ontario, on Monday en route to Edmonton for the beginning of the Rush's 2013 National Lacrosse League campaign. The Rush's starting netminder had decided to make Edmonton his home this season which meant moving out west. And instead of flying with a few suitcases, he opted to box, bag, and tote everything he owned with him.

Aaron Bold #77

Nothing but the open road ahead, with some music ("oldies, some new stuff, and some house") plus enough coffee and Red Bull to keep him alert.

Bold's trip will take a short break early on - a day spent with friends in Sarnia, Ontario - but it is followed by a 3 a.m. wake-up call to hit the road taking him through Chicago, Milwaukee, and North Dakota before a pit stop in Winnipeg. By late Wednesday or early Thursday he's expecting to arrive in Edmonton. After a good rest, he'll be strapping on the pads and providing the last line of defense as the Rush open their regular-season schedule at home Sunday afternoon against the perennially tough Toronto Rock.

Goaltending has been one of the few cornerstones the Rush have been able to build around since the team's inception. The club has never lacked for solid - and at various times, stellar - netminding from the likes of Pat Campbell, Curtis Palidwor, and Matt Disher. But Bold broke the mould last year with the single-best goaltending season of any Rush stopper, and he's hoping things will continue down that path in 2013.

"I'd say I surprised myself a little bit last year," said Bold. "The key was getting out of the gate with some consistency. Each year you want to thrive and strive to be bigger and better than the last.

"You have to believe that you're going to have the best game of your life. That was big for me last year, that I had that belief that I was going to be successful. And my game preparation came a long way to helping believe that I would be successful every game."

Bold certainly was at the top of his game throughout the majority of the '12 season. He finished the year with a slew of accolades including a spot NLL's Second All-Pro Team and the NLL's Defensive Player of the Week award for Week 14. Bold led the league in minutes played (951) and finish third in both goals-against average (10.47) and total saves (571), while also setting a Rush team record for assists in a season by a goaltender with 14 helpers.

When Bold needed the help last year, he got it from a defensive unit anchored by NLL Defensive Player of the Year Kyle Rubisch, along with a group of blossoming young standouts like Brett Mydske and Jarrett Toll. The defensive group teamed to limit the Rush's goals against to the second-fewest in the entire NLL.

"That was another big thing, having a defensive unit standing in front of me that was very good," noted Bold.

"They were there for me when I needed to be bailed out and I felt I was there for them when they needed bailing out. You're always going to have a bad night here or there but when you're defensive unit is there for you, you can get back on your feet."

While the regular season wasn't particularly pleasing for the Rush as they finished fourth in the division with a 6-10 record, the playoffs were an entirely different matter. For the second time in franchise history, the Rush ousted the heavily favored Calgary Roughnecks in the division semifinal, and then captured their first West Division title as they trounced Minnesota a week later.

The Rush stumbled into the final hurdle, dropping the Champion's Cup final to Rochester, but the taste of playoff success along with the missing milestone at the end has left the entire club eager to get 2013 underway.

"We're really excited about this season. We fell short and that's bittersweet, but I can definitely say that's motivated us even more," offered Bold.


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