The Saskatchewan Rush’s home opener didn’t go quite as planned as the team fell to the Vancouver Stealth 13-11 Friday night.
The Rush played their first ever National Lacrosse League game in Saskatoon in front of 9,147 energetic fans at Sask-Tel Centre.
The Stealth jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Curtis Knight of the Rush made history, by scoring the first ever home-game Rush goal with 4:05 left to go in the first quarter.
Robert Church scored twice late in the second quarter to help the the Rush take a 9-7 half time lead.
Play tightened up in the third quarter as the teams exchanged two goals each.
The Rush appeared to tire in the final stages of the game. Corey Small scored three of Vancouver’s four unanswered goals in the in the fourth quarter to lift the Stealth to the two goal win.
Small had an exceptional night for Vancouver with six goals and one assist. Mark Matthews had one goal and five assists for the Rush.
Coach Derek Keenan said he was impressed by the fan turnout.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I thought it was really good. I’m disappointed that we didn’t get a win for them.”
Super fan Harvey Ruffer drove from Calgary to watch the game. He described why he loves the sport.
“You whack people left, right, and center. It’s fast paced, it’s constant hitting, constant action.”
Saskatchewan fell to 1 and 1 with the loss. The Rush will host the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday January 29 at SaskTel Centre.