The silver lining on a tough loss for the Saskatchewan Rush is the chance to claim a championship at home.
The Rochester Knighthawks forced a third and deciding game in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) Cup Final with a 13-8 win over the Rush Saturday.
Game 3 will go down June 9 back at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon where the Rush earned a 16-9 win in the series opener.
“It’s one game. We’re going to be comfortable and we’re going to be prepared,” said Rush general manager and head coach Derek Keenan in a news release Sunday.
The Rush jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead and then tied the game up 3-3 with three seconds left in the first quarter on Ryan Keenan’s bullet from the slot.
But from that point on, the Rush offence was quieted by their own miscues and a massive effort by Knighthawks’ goalie Matt Vinc — who made 47 saves.
Meanwhile, Rochester’s offence came alive in the second quarter with four straight goals, with the score sitting 8-4 at halftime.
Saskatchewan got a jump on the second half as Jeff Shattler put a quick-stick strike behind Vinc after a perfect cross-slot pass from McIntosh.
But any momentum the Rush may have gathered disappeared quickly as the Knighthawks counted a pair of goals two minutes apart to build a five-goal cushion and effectively gain full control of the game.
Shattler sparked the Saskatchewan offence with a seven-point showing (3 goals, 4 assists) while Keenan finished with two goals. Also scoring for the Rush were Robert Church and Dan Dawson with Mark Matthews collecting four assists.
Evan Kirk totaled 39 saves in the Rush net.
Tickets are on sale for Game 3 at SaskTel Centre. Ball drop is at 7:30 p.m.