CALGARY, Alberta — The Saskatchewan Rush opened their National Lacrosse League championship defense — and their first season away from Edmonton — Saturday with 10-8 comeback victory over the Calgary Roughnecks in front of 11,977 fans at the Saddledome.
The Rush relocated in the offseason, turning the Battle of Alberta into the Battle of the Prairies. The Roughnecks jumped out to a 5-2 lead at halftime and went up by four when Jeff Shattler scored less than a minute into the third quarter. But Saskatchewan reeled off four straight goals, including shorthanded tallies by Mark Matthews and Riley Loewen, to tie the game at 6 going into the fourth quarter.
Robert Church scored on a delayed penalty to give the Rush their first lead of the game less than three minutes into the fourth quarter. But Calgary regained the advantage with consecutive power-play goals by Dane Dobbie and Curtis Dickson. Matthews answered with a power-play goal of his own to tie the game at 8 with 4:11 remaining, and then Church scored 28 seconds later to give Saskatchewan the lead for good. Adrian Sorichetti's insurance goal at the 2:33 mark sealed the win.
Matthews and Church each finished with two goals and three assists. Curtis Knight had five assists in his first game back after missing the 2015 season with a knee injury.
Dickson (two goals, two assists) and Dobbie (three goals, one assist) led the Roughnecks with four points apiece.
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