Matthews breaks assist record as Rush rack up win over Roughnecks

Matthew Dinsdale had one of the six goals set up by assists from Mark Matthews

The Saskatchewan Rush regular season-finale on Saturday, April 28 night will go down in the team’s book of favorite memories. Mark Matthews set a new NLL single-season record for assists with 84 and broke his own franchise record for points in a season with 116 as the Rush topped the Calgary Roughnecks 11-10.
On top of the individual achievements for Matthews, the Rush’s victory capped a perfect 10-0 regular-season record against their rivals from the West Division and also marked the team’s second season-series sweep of the Roughnecks in the past three years.
With the Rush leading 10-6 in the fourth quarter a hat-trick marker for Curtis Dickson and the fourth goal of the game for Holden Cattoni pulled the Roughnecks within two. Matthews broke the assist record as he fired a pass to Dan Dawson on the wing who then rifled a shot past Calgary goalie Christian Del Bianco.
“It’s pretty cool when you can set a record, but it’s all to do with the guys on the team,” said Matthews. “There’s no assist if they don’t score and sometimes those guys can score at will. They make it happen and that makes my job easier.”
The helper on Dawson’s goal also established the new team record for points as Matthews dodged past his previous high of 115 set in 2015.
“The biggest thing for Mark is he is such an unselfish player,” said Rush GM/head coach Derek Keenan. “He could care less about goals, assists and points. He only cares about wins and winning championships.
“He’s been pretty dialed in all year after we didn’t win it all last year. He’s had a great year and he’s a special player.”
Saskatchewan got off to a solid start with a 2-0 lead through the first quarter. The Roughnecks dominated the second quarter as they scored five goals including a shorthanded tally by Garrett McIntosh that gave Calgary a 5-4 lead. But the Rush were able to knot the game with just 0.8 seconds left in the half.
Robert Church and Ben McIntosh scored 16 seconds apart in the third quarter to put the Rush ahead 7-5. After Cattoni notched his hat trick, Jeff Shattler struck for his second goal and Matthews scored to put Saskatchewan up 9-6 after three quarters.
Saskatchewan goalie Evan Kirk totaled 36 saves, four more than his Roughnecks counterpart Del Bianco.
The Rush finished the season with a 14-4 record and have advanced to the one-game West Division Final that they will host on Thursday, May 10th.
Saskatchewan will play the winner of the one-game West Semifinal set for Saturday, May 5 in Denver as the Colorado Mammoth host Calgary.