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Game Stakes are High

04/11/2013, 3:30pm MDT
By Edmonton Rush

“We know we’re going to face a hungry Rochester so we’ve got to make sure we play our best"

The Edmonton Rush weren’t happy with the outcome against the Colorado Mammoth last week, but they don’t have long to dwell on that disappointment.

Not when there’s a home playoff date at stake in a showdown against the team who ended last season’s surprising playoff run in the Champion’s Cup final.

The Rush could have sewn up the first home playoff game in club history against the Mammoth, but a 9-7 setback put the party on hold. They’ll have another chance at making it happen this Sunday at Rexall Place when they host they Rochester Knighthawks, who ended the Rush’s playoff run in the 2012 NLL final. Edmonton will need a little help as well – a Calgary win over Rochester the night before plus a Buffalo victory over Washington would sew up a May date for the West Semifinal on Crystal Glass Field.

“We know we’re going to face a hungry Rochester team so we’ve got to make sure we play our best and try to lock in that home playoff game,” said Edmonton forward Jarrett Davis, who came to the Rush in an off-season trade with Rochester.

“Last week was disappointing. We had some good chances and we had a good effort but the outcome wasn’t there. We didn’t go that extra yard we needed to.”

While the Rush have been virtually unstoppable on the road and sport a 7-1 record away from home, they are a dejecting 1-5 at Rexall Place this season with the lone coming way back in mid-February against Washington. Even a .500 mark on their home turf would have long ago locked up a playoff date for the Rush, but that’s spilled milk. It’s time to move on and get a critical win over Rochester before facing Calgary at Rexall Place in the regular-season finale.

“We want that home playoff date, and our record at home has been more of a coincidence than anything else,” offered Rush GM/Head Coach Derek Keenan.

“Some nights we’ve played quite well and still not got the win, and there’s been other times that we haven’t been very good on the road and have got the win. I think some nights in this league you have to play unbelievably well to get the win and I think we’re going to have to do that on Sunday against Rochester.”

A win over the Knighthawks would also complete a season sweep for the Rush who took home an 11-9 win from Rochester on March 16. That victory came in the midst of the Rush’s five-game winning streak with all five wins coming on the road. This will be the fifth all-time meeting between the Rush and Knighthawks, with Edmonton holding a 3-2 edge.

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