Rochester,NY-- The Edmonton Rush (6-5) used a fast start to defeat the defending champion Rochester Knighthawks (4-6) with an 11-9 road win at The Blue Cross Arena on Saturday night in a rematch of the 2012 NLL Championship Game.
Zack Greer opened the scoring 4:54 into the game as the Rush jumped out to a 2-0 lead midway through the first quarter before the Knighthawks got on the board on the power play. Edmonton responded just 20 seconds later and scored twice more in the final 1:12 of the quarter for a 5-1 lead after 15 minutes of play.
Rochester scored twice on the power play in the first 3:43 of the second quarter to cut the deficit to 5-3, but Edmonton made it 7-3 before halftime after Greer scored with three seconds left in the first half. The Knighthawks finished with just 14 first-half shots.
The Rush lead was narrowed to 8-7 after the Knighthawks scored four of the five goals in the third quarter, including a nifty “Air Gait” dunk goal by Cody Jamieson from behind the net.
A little over five minutes into the fourth quarter, Greer scored twice in a 1:02 span before Rush rookie Mark Matthews scored his third of the night less than a minute later to make it 11-7. The Knighthawks scored the next two goals, the second of which with 1:04 left, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
Rush goaltender Aaron Bold finished with 23 saves on just 32 shots while Knighthawks goalie made 36 stops on 47 shots in the losing effort.
Edmonton’s Ryan Ward finished with a team-high six points (2+4) while Greer (4+1) and Matthews (3+2) both added five points. Rochester’s Cody Jamieson had a game-high seven points (2+5), Dan Dawson had five points (2+3), Mike Accursi had four points (1+3) and Cory Vitarelli had a game-high 13 loose balls.
Both teams were perfect on the power play with Edmonton going 2-for-2 while Rochester went 3-for-3.
The road trip continues for the Rush with two games next weekend, Saturday, March 23 against the Buffalo Bandits and Sunday afternoon, March 24 against the Toronto Rock.