could," Steele said. "Its kind of the | Forum

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zhaoqi123 Jul 26 '16
Ontario and British Columbia are the traditional lacrosse hotbeds in Canada, but the best professional indoor team in the country right now calls Alberta home. Buckeyes #97 Joey Bosa White Limited Stitched NCAA Jersey . The undefeated Edmonton Rush improved to 5-0 over the weekend, the only National Lacrosse League team yet to taste defeat so far this season. In fact, the Rush are the only Canadian club with a winning record as Toronto (2-3), Calgary (2-3) and Vancouver (2-5) all lag behind Edmonton. "Its early still and you dont want to get too high or too excited but were playing well," said Rush head coach and general manager Derek Keenan. "Its a process of maturity." Edmontons defence was been exceptional so far, led by Kyle Rubisch. "Hes a bulldog," Keenan said of the two-time reigning NLL defenceman of the year. "He takes away opponents space, he picks off passes and hes a beast when the ball is on the turf. His gap closure is scary good. Guys think they have a step on him or an opportunity to get by him and hes in their face and theyre on their butt. "Hes a shut-down guy. Hes got great vision and good hands, too. He fits our system so well. Hes a good team guy. Were lucky to have him." Meanwhile, Chris Corbeil was named captain when Jimmy Quinlan moved behind the bench as an assistant coach this year. "I loved the kid when I watched him play in junior and I continued to watch him when he was in Buffalo," added Keenan. "Hes a real quality person, a great teammate, and hes super fit. He sets an example on the floor both in games and practices. And hes young, too. "Thats the M.O. of our whole group. Were a young group, but pretty experienced for a team so young -- a lot of Canadian championships (in summer lacrosse), a lot of experience in big-game situations." Rubisch, Corbeil and Brett Mydske were good enough to be on Canadas team that won the most recent world indoor championship. "Weve got all three of them on our back end and theyre three of the best in the business," said Keenan. The whole defence-transition corps has been together for three years now, with the addition this year of Nik Bilic, and that continuity has resulted in a league-best 7.8 goals-against average. Top-notch goaltending is a must in lacrosse and Aaron Bold, who gets most of the starts, and Brodie MacDonald supply it for the Rush. "Hes been awesome," Keenan said of Bold. "Hes made big saves at key times. Last game, Rochester tied the score late and he made two big saves on Dan Dawson in the closing minute of regulation time. Hes really raised the level of his game." Up front, second-year forwards Mark Matthews, who was 2013 rookie of the year after being the No. 1 overall draft pick, and Curtis Knight are maturing impressively in the pro game. The former Whitby, Ont., junior teammates share the team goal scoring lead with 12 each. It was Matthews who scored the overtime winner in a thrilling 8-7 home triumph last Saturday over two-time defending champion Rochester. At six-foot-five, hes a superstar in the making. "Hes got a great passion for the game," said Keenan. "One thing about him Ive found different from so-called premier players is that hes willing to do a lot of the dirty work, too. A lot of his big plays in games are without the ball. Hes willing to do that. I look at (Buffalo forward) John Tavares who is 45 but who can still play because hes changed his game 10 times. You can constantly try to get better, and Mark is willing to do that." Add it all up and it is clear to see that Keenan has been putting a complete package on the green carpet. "Its my fifth year in Edmonton and weve had ups and downs," he said. "This is the first year you feel such positive vibes. You hear people talking about us. Everybody loves a winner. Winning consistently was a problem for us in the past. We were 2-6 at home last season. That was a problem. This season were 3-0 at home so far. You can feel a different kind of vibe in the city -- that theres some belief in us. Again, its early in the season, but theres progress there." Average attendance in Rexall Place is 7,695 through three home games, which is less than what owner Bruce Urban needs to break even. So, everybody in the Rush organization is hoping the winning ways will fill more seats. "We play an exciting brand of lacrosse people should want to see," said Keenan. "Bruce is a committed owner. Weve worked together on finding the right formula and we seem to be getting there. "The tempo of play is so fast these days. We dont designate one or two or three guys as transition players to move the ball quickly up the floor. We expect our entire defence group to contribute that way because we think they are capable of that. Skill levels across the league are phenomenal now and we fit that mould well." Edmonton began NLL play in 2006 but it wasnt until 2010 that the Rush won more games than it lost. Last years 9-7 record was the teams second .500-plus showing, although the 2012 lineup managed to get as far as the title game despite a 6-10 regular season. Winning the Champions Cup that year would have been a colossal upset. Now, Keenans crew looks more ready than most other NLL teams to push Rochester off the top of the heap. Rush players are from either Ontario or B.C. except for defenceman John Lintz, a local who attends the University of Alberta, and faceoff specialist Jeremy Thompson, who is a First Nations player from upstate New York. A home playoff date for the first time in franchise history seems likely come spring. "Weve established a fan base and, to get more people out to games, they just need to see some results," said Lintz. "Getting a home playoff date would be amazing. If we get that, it would really cement us in the eyes of a lot of fans." The West Division leaders play in Philadelphia on Saturday and at Minnesota on Feb. 15. They are at home against Toronto on Feb. 28 and against Vancouver on March 8. A March 14 game in Calgary precedes a March 21 home game against the Buffalo Bandits (5-1), who currently hold down first place in the East Division. Nike Seahawks #72 Michael Bennett White Womens Stitched NFL Elite Jersey . Penners goal two minutes into OT came after the Tigers (39-22-3) tied the game on third-period goals by Chad Butcher and Curtis Valk. Valk finished with two goals while Marek Langhamer did his part with 38 saves. Mitchell And Ness 1983 White Sox #45 Michael Jordan White Throwback Stitched MLB Jersey . TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1:00 PM (ET) Tampa Bay - None Detroit - G Rodney Austin, WR Ryan Broyles, DT Nick Fairley, QB Kellen Moore, DT Caraun Reid, G Garrett Reynolds, DE Larry Webster NEW YORK JETS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1:00 PM (ET) NY Jets - TE Jace Amaro, G Dakota Dozier, OL Wesley Johnson, WR Walter Powell, QB Matt Simms, CB Josh Thomas, DL Muhammad Wilkerson Minnesota - LB Anthony Barr, DE Scott Crichton, FB Zach Line, CB Jabari Price, LB Brandon Watts, OT JMarcus Webb, G David Yankey ST.SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A desert critter saved leader Bubba Watson at least a stroke Saturday in the Phoenix Open. Some pigskin play cost Phil Mickelson to the chagrin of the rowdiest fans in the largest crowd in golf history. The estimated 189,722 in attendance had a lot to see on a sunny, cool day at TPC Scottsdale. Watsons drive on the par-5 13th went into a desert bush and settled next to a burrowing animal hole that would have interfered with his swing, giving him a free drop. "Right next to my ball was a burrowing animal hole and my club was going to hit it at impact," Watson said. "It was big hole and the club would get caught on it. So, I got a free drop and could easily wedge it out." He hit a 150-yard shot to the fairway, followed with a wedge to the fringe and two-putted for par on the way to a 3-under 68 and a two-stroke lead. Without the free drop, he thought he could have played a shorter shot. "I was looking at a 20- or 30-yard shot," Watson said. Mickelson made a double bogey on the par-3 No. 16, the 20,000-seat stadium hole where he "lost focus" thinking about throwing footballs into the crowd. The defending champion half-shanked his tee shot left on the 128-yard hole. He followed with a weak flop shot into the bunker, blasted to 8 feet and two-putted. "It was a gap wedge. It was pathetic," Mickelson said. "I dont even know what to say. I dont remember ever hitting a shot like that even in practice." On the positive side, the former Arizona State player threw some nice spirals and showed no signs of the back pain that forced him to withdraw last week at Torrey Pines. "My brother, who is the ASU golf coach, brought out some ASU footballs that I signed and threw out there," Mickelson said. "I think its the last time Im going to do that, because mentally I was thinking about throwing it a couple holes prior. "It took me out of my element. I hit the worst shot imaginable, and then I followed with four other terrible ones. It was just some of the worst shots imaginable. I just lost focus and I think a lot of it was due to the fact that I have never done sometthing like that on the 16th hole. Nike Bills #24 Stephon Gilmore Green Mens Stitched NFL Limited Salute To Service Jersey. I thought it was going to be fun." He finished with a 72 to drop to 3 under. Watson was at 15-under 198. Winless since the 2012 Masters, the long-hitting left-hander also scrambled to save par on the par-5 15th, holing a 15-footer after losing another drive to the right. His 7-foot birdie try on 16 stopped on the right edge, but he holed a curling 12-footer for birdie on the short par-4 17th after another drive went far right. He saved par on the par-4 18th after driving over the water into the left rough. "I held it together, stayed focused on what I was trying to do, made nice up-and-down on 17 for birdie," Watson said. "Tough lie on 18 and somehow two-putted to have a little lead. ... Luckily, nobody went crazy on me." He was upset about the pace of play. "The back nine just got real slow and sluggish and I just kind of lost focus a little bit on my tee shots," Watson said. "We need to be under five hours tomorrow. I want to watch the Super Bowl." The tournament set an attendance record for the fourth straight day, breaking the day mark of 179,002 from the third round last year. Since Monday, an estimated 502,776 people have attended the event. The record of 538,356 was set in 2008. "It was packed out there," said Scottsdale resident Kevin Stadler, second after a 67. "Its something you only experience once a year." Ryan Moore had a 64 to join Harris English (69) and Hideki Matsuyama (66) at 12 under, and Jones (72) was 11 under along with Brendan Steele (62) and 2010 winner Hunter Mahan (65). Moore played the back nine in 6-under 30. "Made a couple bonus putts," Moore said. Steele had the best round of the week. "I was just trying to make as many birdies as I could," Steele said. "Its kind of the luxury when you make the cut by a shot. You have more to gain and not much to lose." Canadian Graham DeLaet shot himself up the leaderboard with a 6-under 65. DeLaet, from Weyburn, Sask., is six shots off the pace at 9-under 204. David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., shot a 73, and is 13 back at 211. 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