Rush Remain Unbeaten, Down Rochester in OT
from Press Release
EDMONTON — Mark Matthews' only goal of the game was a huge one.
The reigning NLL Rookie of the Year scored the game-winner 1:16 into overtime as the Edmonton Rush used an air-tight defense to remain the National Lacrosse League's only unbeaten team as they improved to 5-0 with an 8-7 home win over the two-time defending champion Rochester Knighthawks (3-2) before a crowd of 7,951 at Rexall Place on Saturday night.
Edmonton netminder Aaron Bold turned aside 30 shots as part of the Rush's stingy defense which has allowed just 39 goals through five games.
The Rush opened up a quick 3-0 lead in the first quarter including goals from Curtis Knight and Cory Conway coming just 21 seconds apart. The Knighthawks responded with a pair of goals but Edmonton took a 4-2 lead into the break when Jeff Cornwall fired a low shot behind Rochester goaltender Matt Vinc with less than one second remaining in the first quarter.
Vinc came up big for his team early in the second quarter as he turned aside a pair of quality chances the Rush created during a two-man advantage. The Knighthawks' penalty-killers did the rest to stop the Rush during the power play but just seconds after the advantage ended, Jeremy Thompson scored the lone goal of the quarter.
The remainder of the first half was dominated by the Rush defense as the stingiest unit in the league held the Knighthawks to just six shots in the second quarter. The defenses stood tall again in the third quarter, although Rochester did cut into the Edmonton lead on goals by Dan Dawson, with his second of the game, and newly re-signed Mike Accursi coming less than a minute apart. Conway's second goal of the game, and the Rush's second power-play tally of the night, put Edmonton up 6-4 heading into the final stanza.
Joel McCready's goal 54 seconds into the fourth quarter brought the Knighthawks within one again, but Knight notched his second of the night, getting his low drive to trickle through Vinc's legs with one second to go on the shot clock.
The Knighthawks roared back in the dying moments to force overtime. Johnny Powless's unassisted marker pulled Rochester back to a one-goal deficit with 3:01 remaining, and Stephen Keogh tied the game with only 1:04 to go as the Knighthawks went with an extra attacker.
Rookie Riley Loewen had Edmonton's other goal, while Cody Jamieson added one goal for Rochester.
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Cory Conway
2) Matt Vinc
3) Aaron Bold
The Rush are in Philadelphia next Saturday to take on the Wings at the Wells Fargo Center, while the Knighthawks are back home at the Blue Cross Arena on the same night to host the Buffalo Bandits.