After a tough loss on Friday night, the Edmonton Rush (10-5) came back with a strong 11-9 victory in game two of a home-and-home series against the Calgary Roughnecks (5-11), this time at Northlands. The night also marked history Roughnecks forward Shawn Evans broke the NLL single-season points record.
The Rush had a far better first quarter on Saturday night than they did on Friday. They started the game building a 3-0 lead with two goals from Robert Church and one from Chris Corbeil in transition. Shawn Evans put Calgary on the board, victimizing Jeff Cornwall, but Ben McIntosh got it back just seconds after, allowing the Rush to take a 4-1 lead into the second.
Edmonton kept rolling into the second, starting with a Mark Matthews Power Play goal. Later, both Geoff Snider, and Andrew McBride took minor penalties giving Edmonton a five on three man advantage. After the play was blown in, it took Ben McIntosh just one second to score Edmonton’s sixth. Curtis Dickson, one who is known to have success against the Edmonton Rush, beat three defenders and Aaron Bold, while shorthanded, to make it 6-2. Matthew Dinsdale then scored his first against his former team for his third of the season. The Roughnecks capped off the quarter with goals from Dobbie and Dickson, and looked to add more to the comeback in the second half.
The third quarter was much less eventful, though it did have a historical impact. Calgary scored two goals, with Shawn Evans assisting on them both. Evans broke the franchise record for most points in a season with 114, and recorded his 500th assists, making him only the 11th player in league history to do so. Edmonton got a lone goal from Mark Matthews, as goaltender Mike Poulin made some key saves.
In the fourth, the Roughnecks kept pace but just couldn’t complete the comeback. The rivals went back in fourth with Calgary getting three goals from Dane Dobbie, and Edmonton getting goals from Matthews, and Zack Greer (2). Calgary was unable to score late due to penalties, and the Rush won 11-9, jumping further ahead of the Colorado Mammoth, who lost to the Knighthawks on Saturday night.
Evans’ historical night continued as he broke the NLL single season points record previously set by John Grant Jr. in 2012, with 117 points. Evan’s did it on his 16th game of the season while Jr. scored 116 in 14 games. Evans still has two important games to go in which he can expand on his record total.
Robert Church (2+3) and Mark Matthews (3+2) led the Rush in scoring with five points each.
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Zack Greer
2) Shawn Evans
3) Mark Matthews