The Saskatchewan Rush extended their regular-season winning streak against the Calgary Roughnecks to eight games with a 13-10 victory Friday night in National Lacrosse League (NLL) action at SaskTel Centre.
The Rush haven’t lost to the Roughnecks since moving to Saskatoon from Edmonton prior to the 2016 season.
Coming off a bye week, Rush head coach Derek Keenan was concerned about the possibility of a slow start by his team, but the Rush raced out to an 8-3 lead at halftime then hung on as the Roughnecks made a second-half surge.
Calgary managed to claw back within two goals late in the third quarter, but Robert Church scored what proved to be the game-winner on a power play with 16.3 seconds left in the frame and the Rush clamped down on defence in the fourth.
Earlier in the game, with the Rush leading 6-2, Church fired a shot off the crossbar and out, however Saskatchewan challenged the play as the ball appeared to bounce over the goal line.
Upon review the play was ruled a goal, prompting the Roughnecks to pull starting goalie Frank Scigliano in favour of Christian Del Bianco.
Scigliano stopped 21 of 28 shots in just over 21 minutes of work. Del Bianco allowed six goals on 30 shots the rest of the way. In the Rush goal, Aaron Bold stopped 41 of 51 attempts.
Mark Matthews led Saskatchewan on offence with two goals and five assists. Church, Chris Corbeil and Dan Taylor also scored twice while Mike Messenger, Curtis Knight, Jeremy Thompson, Jeff Cornwall and Matthew Dinsdale added singles.
The Roughnecks were led by Dane Dobbie, who scored four power play goals to go with a pair of assists. Wesley Berg, Tyler Digby and former Rush player Riley Loewen had two goals apiece.
Calgary finished the night six-for-nine on the man advantage. The Rush converted three of six power play opportunities.
With the victory, Saskatchewan improves to 8-3 on the season and moves two games clear of the Colorado Mammoth atop the NLL West Division. The Roughnecks are last with a record of 4-9.
The Rush visit the Mammoth on Saturday and can clinch a playoff spot with another win.