Led by rookie sensation Mark Matthews, the Edmonton Rush (1-1) got their first win and handed the Washington Stealth (2-1) their first loss of the 2013 National Lacrosse League season with an 18-10 victory at Comcast Arena on Sunday.
Rush rookie Matthews, the first overall pick in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft, opened the scoring just 29 seconds into the game and finished with a game-high nine points (4+5).
The teams went goal-for-goal in the first quarter to take a 3-3 tie into the second. Edmonton went on a three-goal scoring run to take a 6-3 lead and led 8-5 at halftime.
Matthews opened the scoring in the second half, almost exactly as he had in the first, by finding open space and firing from deep. The Rush scored four straight goals to chase Stealth goalie Nick Patterson for free agent pickup Neil Tyacke. The Stealth’s usual starting goalie, Tyler Richards, was scratched after being deemed unable to play.
The goalie change seemed to wake up the Stealth as they scored three goals in a 32-second window in the final minute of the third quarter to pull within 12-8. But the Rush stopped the momentum with a three-goal run of their own to make the score 15-8 and send Tyacke back to the bench as the rout was on.
Edmonton’s Corey Small had seven points (2+5), Ryan Ward recorded six points (3+3) while Zack Greer (1+3) and Curtis Knight (1+3) both had four points in the win. Rhys Duch registered five points (3+2), his third hat trick in as many games this season, while Dean Hill had four points (1+3) and Bob Snider had three points (2+1) in the losing effort. Snider went 27-for-32 (84%) on faceoffs and twice scored in transition with individual efforts after winning the draw.
The Rush finished 4-for-5 on the power play while the Stealth were also efficient with the man advantage by going 2-for-3. Aaron Bold made 33 saves on 43 shots while Stealth goalies combined to make just 30 stops on 48 shots.
Check back soon for a full recap with postgame reactions from players and coaches from both locker rooms.