The Saskatchewan Rush are making a quick dash from San Diego to Saskatoon during a hectic National Lacrosse League weekend.
The Rush played Friday night in San Diego — that game was still underway at press-time — with a Saturday-night contest against the Philadelphia Wings then slated for Saskatoon’s SaskTel Centre (7:30 p.m.).
Here’s some things to know as the Rush prepare for their Saturday home date.
Saskatchewan’s opponents Friday and Saturday are both brand-new expansion teams, but they’ve experienced vastly different results in 2018-19.
San Diego was 9-6 heading into Friday’s clash, half a game ahead of the 8-6 Rush in the race for first place in the NLL’s Western Division.
Philadelphia has struggled to a 3-12 record, which is the NLL’s worst, and leaves them sixth in the six-team Eastern Division.
HEAD TO HEAD
Saturday’s game is the first and only meeting of the season between the Wings and Rush.
The Wings have played twice against Western Division opponents, losing 12-10 to Colorado on Feb. 9, and 18-13 to Calgary on April 6. They follow their Saturday game in Saskatoon with a Sunday contest in Vancouver against the Warriors.
Saskatchewan, meanwhile, has won just two of seven contests against teams from the Eastern Division.
ON THE RUSH
Saskatchewan, which has clinched a playoff spot, entered Friday’s match with a two-game win streak after victories of 12-9 and 9-7 over Vancouver and Colorado respectively.
Reigning league MVP Mark Matthews was Saskatchewan’s top scorer with 30 goals, 50 assists and 80 points through 14 games heading into Friday. He’s followed by Ben McIntosh (30-29-59), Jeff Shattler (29-28-57) and Robert Church (22-31-53).
Philadelphia’s top scorer is Kiel Matisz (21-50-71 through 15 games).
The Rush continued to lead the NLL in attendance heading into Friday night. Their average 13,323 per game tops Buffalo (12,767), Buffalo (12,607), Calgary (11,747) and Philadelphia (10,905).
Six other teams sit below 10,000: Toronto (9,432), San Diego (8,366), Vancouver (7,088), Rochester (6,632), Georgia (6,444) and New England (5,526).
The Rush follow this weekend’s back-and-forth set with two final regular-season games. The first is April 20 against the host Calgary Roughnecks, followed by an April 27 home date against the Colorado Mammoth.
Then, it’s playoffs.
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