The Edmonton Rush will have to wait for another season to host a National Lacrosse League playoff game at Rexall Place.
The Rush jumped out to a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter of Saturday’s West Division semifinal, but eventually faltered in the second half to lose 12-11 to the Washington Stealth at Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash.
Rhys Duch, who led the league with 45 goals in the regular season, sparked the Stealth’s comeback with three goals in the first six minutes of the second half. He finished with four goals and two assists.
Washington outscored Edmonton 7-3 in the third quarter, but didn’t take the lead until opening the final quarter with three quick goals, two on the power play, in the first three minutes and 29 seconds.
The Rush closed within a goal when Jarrett Davis scored at the 9:48 mark of the period, but that was it for the scoring.
Edmonton, which advanced to the league final last season while playing all of its post-season games on the road, looked like it was finally going to play a playoff game at home until losing two of its last three regular-season games at Rexall Place to finish in a three-way tie with Washington and the Calgary Roughnecks at 9-7.
Corey Small, with three goals and three assists, and rookie Mark Matthews, with two goals and two assists, led the Rush attack. Davis, with two goals, Curtis Knight, John LaFontaine, Jeff Cornwall and Alex Turner also scored for Edmonton.
Aaron Bold made 36 saves for the Rush while Stealth goalie Tyler Richards blocked 41 shots and picked up three assists.