A thrilling third quarter was the key to victory again for the Saskatchewan Rush. They outscored Colorado 6-2 to open a 14-7 lead on their way to a 17-12 win over the Mammoth at the Pepsi Centre in Denver. They have now outscored opponents 25-8 in the third quarter while sprinting out to a 4-0 start to become the lone unbeaten team in the National Lacrosse League.
The Rush had to show some resilience after getting off to a slow start. They battled back from early deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 before scoring three goals in a row to take their first lead early in the second quarter.
Ben McIntosh led the charge with 10 points including eight assists, while Curtis Knight, Marty Dinsdale and Robert Church all recorded hat tricks.
Mike Messenger potted a pair on transition breakaways for his first two goals of the season. The first was buried after a double fake on Mammoth goalie Dillon Ward, his second was into an empty net late in the fourth quarter.
Adrian Sorichetti also sniped a pair of transition goals. Sorichetti’s first came just 12-seconds after Mcintosh scored on the power play to give the Rush a 6-5 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish. Mark Matthews and Ryan Keenan rounded out the Rush scoring.
The Rush started to pull away with three unanswered goals at the end of the second quarter in a span of fewer than two minutes to take an 8-5 lead into the break but put an exclamation mark on the game at the end of the third quarter with four straight goals.
The Rush power play continues to produce, going 3-for-4 on the night, but also gave up a pair of shorthanded goals in the fourth quarter. They outshot the Mammoth 54-45.
Eli McLaughlin led the Mammoth with four goals.
The win vaults to Rush into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference, the Mammoth sit second at 3-1.
Saskatchewan hosts the Buffalo Bandits Friday, Jan. 19. It’s a 7;30 p.m. start at SaskTel Centre. Radio coverage on 98-COOL begins at 6;30.