Everything was clicking for the Saskatchewan Rush.
Shots were going in, the defense was making stops and with every week the team appears more cohesive as a unit.
“I thought our compete tonight was outstanding,” Head Coach Derek Keenan said after a 16-12 win over Vancouver Saturday night.
“Defensively we really executed our game plan exactly how we wanted to and I think we made the game faster than they wanted it.”
Other than the three opening minutes when Vancouver led 1-0, the Rush carried the play. A late flurry of goals by the Stealth making the scoreline appear closer than it was.
Leading the way offensively was Adam Jones, who had four goals. His most notable a flying through the air diving goal in the third quarter.
Basically, for the Owen Sound, Ont. native, every shot he took went in the net on Saturday.
“It felt like that,” Jones said. “It seemed like we got a few looks and overall our offense was awesome tonight,”
Getting in on the act was leading scorer Mark Matthews, who had a hat-trick and four assists for a seven-point night. That moves his season total to 95 points in 14 games, and on pace to surpass his career high of 115 that he set in 2015.
Ben McIntosh and Ryan Keenan both scored a pair for the Rush. Mike Messenger, Robert Church, Adrian Sorichetti and Jeremy Thompson added singles.
While the offense saw a balance of pretty passing and transition goals, the defense was air tight.
“We were focused on pressuring them more,” defenseman Mike Messenger said after head coach Derek Keenan asked for a stronger defensive effort heading into the weekend.
“They like to take shots from the outside and I thought we did a good job of shutting that down.”
Aaron Bold made 37 saves as Saskatchewan outshot Vancouver 57-49 in front of another sold out crowd of 15, 045 at SaskTel Centre.
With the win, the Rush (10-4) remain unbeaten in seven home games and have secured a home playoff game.
They return home for the second of three consecutive home games on Saturday, April 15 against the New England Black Wolves.