EDMONTON - The Edmonton Rush have found their winning ways.
Improving to 1-1 with a convincing 18-10 victory over the Washington Stealth on Sunday, the Rush were once again led by first-overall draft pick Mark Matthews.
For the second time in as many games this season, Matthews opened the scoring on his first shot of the game as the two teams traded goals through an opening quarter that ended tied 3-3.
Their other goals of the frame came on special teams, with a power-play goal from Corey Small — who set a then-Rush-record of nine points the last time they played at Everett, Wash.'s Comcast Arena, which ended in a 16-5 Edmonton victory. Defender Chris Corbeil followed up with a short-handed goal on a breakaway.
Edmonton began to pull away with three goals to open the second quarter, as Small hit Ryan Ward with a cross-crease pass with the man-advantage.
Jarrett Davis then scored his first goal as a member of the Rush after joining the team in a three-way off-season deal that sent Paul Rabil to Philadelphia, before Brett Mydske scored on a screen by Jeff Cornwall for his first goal of the season.
Matthews flashed a bit of talent after picking up his own rebound with a one-handed scoop pass to Small, who found fellow forward Zack Greer for a power-play goal to go up 7-4 with five minutes to go in the half.
Cornwall scored his first NLL goal to lead 8-4 before Brett Bucktooth brought Washington back within three of the lead on the power-play prior to halftime.
After scoring a virtual replay of his game-opening goal to start the third quarter, Matthews hit the hat-trick mark while cutting in on a pass from Ward.
Rush goalie Aaron Bold was back to his old tricks, passing a long ball off the save to Jarrett Toll with the play that saw him end up with 14 assists last season.
Small made it 12-5 on Edmonton's fourth-straight goal of the quarter as the Stealth opted for backup goalie Neil Tyacke, whom they picked up earlier in the day.
Rhys Duch stopped the bleeding with a transition goal as Edmonton was called for interference on a moving pick, mere seconds before Bob Snider won the draw and took the shot to pull them within five.
Athan Iannucci scored Washington's third goal in 32 seconds as they ended the third frame fast and furiously.
But the Rush matched that output in the fourth, with Ward , Curtis Knight and Brett Mydske tallying by the mid-point to re-establish a seven-goal lead.
With Patterson back in net, Duch recorded his third hat-trick of the season, before Ward scored again to and sits just two points back of the Rush's all-time points record.
Transition speedster Jeremy Thompson fired a half-floor shot into the empty net before Matthews recorded his fourth of the game to finish things off the same way he began them for a total of four goals and nine points.
But the Rush defence shut down league scoring leader Cliff Smith, who had 15 points and seven goals in two game heading in, before being held to just a single assist Sunday.
“We've got these guys next week, so we know we've got to be better,” said Stealth captain Kyle Sorensen. “We lacked a little bit of heart.”
“We didn't put together a full 60 minutes and I think it showed.”