Justin Ivey, Co-Editor and NLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©
The Saskatchewan Rush (7-10) hosted the San Diego Seals (9-8) on Saturday night and the game was a shootout. San Diego is already in the post season, but their seed is still to be determined. Saskatchewan may be out of it, but they proved they are not rolling over for anyone going into the final weeks of the season. It was a tale of two halves as the Seals ended the first 30 minutes with a three-goal lead, but Saskatchewan flipped the script in the second to hold on and win by three in front of a raucous home crowd. Final Score: San Diego-14, Saskatchewan-17.
Jeremy Noble (4G, 4A) got the Seals on the board first with a goal just 33 seconds in. Robert Church (4G, 4A) quickly answered for Saskatchewan, netting his first goal of the night just shy of the two-minute marker. The Rush took their first lead of the night on an absolute perfect quick stick by Jeff Shattler (2G, 4A). Saskatchewan was on the powerplay when Dan Lintner (1G, 2A) through the dart across the crease to a soon to be jumping Shattler. He caught the ball and fired into the net at an almost straight down line. The lead didn’t hold and would stay away for a while as San Diego found a stride. Two goals from Austin Staats (4G, 4A) were sandwiched around an all-alone transition goal from Matt Sykes (1G) before the end of the quarter. At the end of the first, San Diego led Saskatchewan 4-2.
Noble started the scoring in the second quarter as well. 2:01 in he fired a ball that Rush goaltender Adam Shute (37SV) got most of but ended up over his shoulder and in the net. Ryan Keenan (2G) answered the call just over a minute later wit an unassisted goal, but on the next possession Noble scored his hat trick marker to get the lead back to three. Dane Dobbie (3G, 3A) stretched it to four goals 4:16 in before Keenan would score his second of the quarter on a power play opportunity with 10:05 left in the half. For the remainder of the half, neither team could find the net again as the defenses stood tall. At the half, San Diego led Saskatchewan 7-4.
The second half started with a heavy weight tussle between the Rush’s Ryan Dilks (2A) and the Seals’ Eli Gobrecht. It was only five seconds in when both headed to the bench. The fight did not set a defensive tone but rather ignited the offenses. After 11 total goals in the first half, the two combined for 12 goals in the third quarter. The Rush scored six goals in five-on-five sets, where they clearly controlled the game. A powerplay goal added on to that saw them outscore the Seals 7-5 in the quarter. San Diego could just not get settled with a full squad on the floor. Their five third quarter goals consisted of three on the power play and two shorthanded goals. Despite outscoring the Seals, the Rush never took the lead in the quarter. Mike Messenger (1G, 1A) tied the game at 11 with 49 seconds left, but Casey Jackson (2G, 1A) scored on the power play with three seconds left to give the Seals the lead after three. At the end of the third quarter, San Diego led Saskatchewan 12-11.
Saskatchewan flipped a switch to start the final quarter. Four unanswered goals spanned the first 7:48 and the Rush took their first lead since it was 2-1 in the first. Staats tried to keep San Diego in it, scoring twice in the final quarter, but the rest of the squad could not help. The Rush ended up scoring six in the final quarter and never let the Seals closer than two. Final Score: San Diego-14, Saskatchewan-17.
The Saskatchewan Rush (7-10) visit Panther City Lacrosse Club (7-10) on Saturday, April 30 at 8:30 PM EST.
The San Diego Seals (9-8) visit the Vancouver Warriors (6-11) on Saturday, April 30 at 10:00 PM EST.