Rush gear up for old ri­val with new name

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The Saskatchewan Rush will face an old ri­val with a new name on Satur­day night in Van­cou­ver. Hav­ing split two games to open the National Lacrosse League sea­son — the Rush meet the War­riors, pre­vi­ously known as the Stealth, in their next out­ing. Here are five things you should know head­ing into the game, writes Kevin Mitchell. 1.

ONE WIN, ONE LOSS

The de­fend­ing cham­pion Rush have played twice so far this sea­son, los­ing 12-11 to the New Eng­land Black Wolves on Dec. 28 be­fore re­bound­ing with a 16-12 win over the ex­pan­sion San Diego Seals at home on Jan. 5.

Van­cou­ver, which strug­gled to a 2-16 fin­ish last sea­son, opened their new cam­paign with a 14-13 win over the Cal­gary Rough­necks be­fore los­ing three straight — 14-8 to Cal­gary, 16-10 to Buf­falo and 10-8 to Ge­or­gia.

2.

THE EARLY SCOR­ING RACE

NLL teams have played any­where from two to four games so far — Saskatchewan is on the low end — so you’ll have to go all the way down to the No. 13 spot be­fore you find a Saskatchewan player on the top scor­ers list.

Rush for­ward Ben McIn­tosh is tied for 13th over­all with 15 points (eight goals, seven as­sists).

Saskatchewan’s Mark Matthews, who won the over­all NLL scor­ing crown last sea­son, is cur­rently 17th with four goals and nine as­sists through two games.

Van­cou­ver is led of­fen­sively by Lo­gan Schuss, who is tied for fifth over­all with six goals, 14 as­sists and 20 points in four games.

3.

THE NAME CHANGE

The Stealth changed their name to the War­riors after be­ing pur­chased this sum­mer by Canucks Sports and Entertainment.

The team pre­vi­ously played out of the Langley Events Cen­tre, but their new home is Rogers Arena, home of the NHL’s Canucks. They went a dis­mal 2-16 last sea­son.

Ros­ter play­ers in­clude for­mer Rush goal­tender Aaron Bold. Saskatchewan traded Bold to New Eng­land prior to last sea­son, and he signed with Van­cou­ver as a free agent in Septem­ber.

4.

MILE­STONES, 300 STYLE

Rush for­ward Jeff Shat­tler scored four goals dur­ing Satur­day’s win over San Diego, leav­ing him two mark­ers short of 300 for his ca­reer.

McIn­tosh had a huge night on Satur­day, col­lect­ing five goals and four as­sists, and now needs just three more points to reach 300.

5.

UP NEXT

The Rush will re­turn home for a Jan. 19 clash against the vis­it­ing Rochester Knighthawks, who they beat in last sea­son’s NLL fi­nal, be­fore hit­ting the road for two games — Jan. 27 in Ge­or­gia and Feb. 1 in Toronto.

They’ll fol­low that with a Feb. 9 home date against Cal­gary.

KaYLE NEIS

Jeremy Thomp­son of the Rush shrugs off San Diego’s Bran­don Clel­land dur­ing last Satur­day’s 16-12 win at Sask­Tel Cen­tre.

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