Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (December 23, 2017) – Shawn Evans had seven points and Kevin Crowley picked up three but it was not enough as the New England Black Wolves fell to the Saskatchewan Rush 24-11 at the Sasktel Center on Saturday night.
Jay Thorimbert won 24 faceoffs in the loss for New England. Evans and Crowley each had hat tricks while recently acquired forward Stephan Leblanc had four points on a goal and three assists and rookie JP Kealey had three points, including his first career goal.
The Rush scored first 4:53 into play, but Evans tied it up just 47 second later off a pass from Colton Watkinson. Thirty-eight seconds later, Adrian Sorichetti put the Rush back up 2-1 and Mark Matthews followed him 34 seconds later to put Saskatchewan up 3-1. However, Crowley then took advantage of New England’s first power play of the season to pull the Wolves within 3-2 after one quarter.
Just 2:06 into the second, Evans took a pass from Leblanc and picked up his second of the night to tie the game at three. The rest of the quarter was all Saskatchewan, as the Rush rattled off seven unanswered goals in the final 11 minutes to take a 10-3 advantage into halftime.
The third quarter quarter started just like the second ended, with Saskatchewan scoring three more goals in the first five minutes to take a 10-3 lead. With 9:12 left in the frame, Leblanc picked up his first goal as a member of the Black Wolves, snapping the 10-goal run by the Rush. Saskatchewan scored three more times before Crowley picked up his second of the night with 4:09 left in the third. The Rush would score three more in the closing minutes to take a 19-5 lead into the fourth quarter.
Saskatchewan scored again just 44 seconds into the fourth, but Evans answered with his third of the night just 13 seconds later and was followed by Kealey with his first career goal and Matt Spanger to cut the advantage to 20-8. The Rush would score four more times in the closing nine minutes while the Black Wolves received goals from Mark Cockerton, Crowley and Kevin Buchanan.
Matthews led the Rush with 13 points on six goals and seven assists while Ben McIntosh added nine points (five goals, four assists) and Robert Church had seven (one goal, six assists).
The Black Wolves return to action on Friday, December 29th when they return home to Mohegan Sun Arena to take on the Vancouver Stealth. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.