The Saskatchewan Rush are coming to Moose Jaw.
Fans of the National Lacrosse League club will be able to catch the team live and in action on Saturday, Nov. 25 when they face the Calgary Roughnecks at the Moose Jaw Events Centre.
The contest will be the first of its kind in one of southern Saskatchewan’s lacrosse hotbeds, and to say the least, the team is looking forward to it.
“It’s an exciting adventure, and i think everyone in Saskatchewan understands how large the Rush reach is,” said Rush communications manager Cody Janzen. “It’s not just Saskatoon’s team, it’s Saskatchewan’s team where we have fans from three different provinces coming in just to watch games on the weekend.
“For us to be able to go down to Moose Jaw and give the southern Saskatchewan fans a treat and then have a pre-season game down there, it’s huge. I know it’s been in the works for years and with the new ownership coming in, one of their priorities is to expand the grassroots. A preseason game checks a lot of those boxes, the outreach to new fans and growing the exposure of the National Lacrosse League.”
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the two teams are arch-rivals and have a history of close and competitive games.
“In my humble opinion, it’s the best rivalry in lacrosse,” Janzen said. “Saskatchewan and Calgary have been going at it for seven years and I think fans are in for a real treat in Moose Jaw. We know the atmosphere is going to be electric, it’s going to be sold out and it’s going to be an awesome time.”
The two teams met in the pre-season in 2022 and ended up in an overtime barnburner before the recently retired Marty Dinsdale ended things with a win for the Rush.
“We played them in the pre-season last season at the Saddledome and there were 10,000-plus people there, it was a thriller,” he said. “These teams always seem to play close games, and lI wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the same thing this time around.”
Fans will have no shortage of faces new and old on the Rush to cheer for. Newcomers Zach Manns and Patrick Dodds both bring scoring acumen to the team, while Robert Church -- who put up 50 goals and 104 points last season -- will join standout netminder Frank Scigliano as just a few players to watch.
Calgary will be led by the likes of 100-point man Jesse King and goaltender Christian Del Bianco, who posted a 9.28 GAA last season, third best in the NLL.
“Saskatchewan has been a turning of the page, not just the rebrand and the new look, but with some new players, too,” Janzen said. “When you look at some of the talent in the league, some of the top players wlll be coming to Moose Jaw.”
A major factor in bringing the game to Canada’s Most Notorious City is the built-in fanbase, especially with the long and storied history of the Moose Jaw Mustangs over the years.
“I grew up south of Swift Current and a lot of the lacrosse players I knew growing up were playing out of Moose Jaw,” Janzen said. “There are strong minor lacrosse roots in the community and even today there’s a strong lacrosse system there. Being able to connect with that, I hope it really strengthens the relationship and it continues to grow. That’s the main thing for the Rush, it’s not just one city, it’s the entire province and how can we be inclusive.”
Ticket presales will be available to Rush season ticket holders on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 10 a.m., with public access going live on Monday, Oct. 2 at 10 a.m.
For more information on the Rush and the National Lacrosse League, visit www.SaskRush.com.