Rookie defenseman Mike Messenger scored the eventual game winner as the Saskatchewan Rush beat Colorado 11-10 to advance to the NLL's Champion's Cup final.
For a third straight season, and second in Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan Rush are off to the NLL's Champions Cup final.
The Rush emerged in a tight defensive battle to beat the Colorado Mammoth 11-10 in game two to sweep the West Division Final 2-0.
Mike Messenger was the unlikely hero. The rookie defenseman picked up a loose ball in his own end and chugged through several Mammoth defenders before slotting the ball in the far corner.
It would end up being the game winner.
"I thought I could take him 1-on-1 but then saw he was already on the ground so I thought I had a chance for a goal," Messenger said, quite happy to have a shot at the title in his first NLL season.
"I knew we had a shot this year and just to have that opportunity with all these guys is great."
A defenseman scoring the winning goal was a fitting cap to the contest, played in front of over 14,000 towel-waving fans in Saskatoon. Both teams were in shutdown mode early as the first goal for either team came 8:15 into the contest. By the end of the first half, it was tied 4-4.
"Three one-goal games in the regular season and tonight, sure enough, was a one-goal game and they played right to the end," Rush head coach Derek Keenan said.