Lions vs Rush



Date Time League Season Home Away Court
July 29, 2023 4:40 pm Canadian National Pickleball League 2023 Lions Rush 2


The Sleeman Centre
Sleeman Centre, 50, Woolwich Street, Downtown Guelph, Guelph, Southwestern Ontario, Ontario, N1H 3T9, Canada


Rocky Mountain Rush Prevail over Montreal Lions in Four-Game Barnburner

Rush Women’s Pair Eke Past Lions in First Game Thriller

As first games go, neither the Rush nor Lions women’s doubles teams looked like they were nervous or tight.

This one was a remarkable affair, with the Rush pair of Alex Walker and Casey Rodgers trading great dinking rallies and defensive gems with Lions pair Kim Layton and Grace Thomas. The Rush got on top early, with a rare foot foul against Montreal leading to a third point for the Rush and a lead of 3-2. The Lions tied it up though, and then waged a see-saw battle with the Rush until side change and the Rush up 8-6. Of note, the defensive prowess and crossing shots of both teams caused a lot of Dura balls to bend the Selkirk net.

After side change, the Rush were just that much better than their Lions counterparts, who fought back valiantly to keep the score tight and force the Rush to take a timeout leading 10-9. That break, however, didn’t go the Lions’ way, as the Rush kept up the momentum and never gave the lead to Montreal. With the score tied 12-12 after a masterful return by Montreal, the Rush used two bombs down the stretch and to force a 14-14 Freeze, then won it on another blast.

Rush Men Put Stranglehold on Match with Convincing Win

After seeing the Rush Women give their team a lead in this match, Rush Men’s duo of Brett Forsythe and Sunny Buttar put their foot on the gas in game 2. Montreal’s doubles pair of Eric Gagnon and Cam Rich were game, but didn’t quite have enough to overcome the Rush, at any point throughout this contest.

Montreal did come out of the gate well, using two huge cross shots to go up 3-2 and force Forsythe and Buttar to take a timeout. Some great dinking, thereafter, combined with a monster line shot by Forsythe saw go up 5-4, followed by great back and forth play before side change with the Rush leading 8-7.

Defense won the day in the last half of the game, as Montreal and Rocky Mountain engaging in some lengthy dinking rallies, interspersed with a great scoring backhand by Buttar to make it 12-9 and another by Rich which got the Lions within one a 13-12. The Rush took it to a Freeze when Montreal sent a return long and then they finished it off with good defensive play and another long return by Montreal that handed their opponents the victory.

Lions Roar Back with Win in Third Game Nailbiter

Just when the Rush thought they had the Lions on the ropes and were about to win the pivotal third game, the Lions scratched their way back to an improbable win.

The Rush mixed doubles team of Brett Forsythe and Alex Walker came out flying, and in the flavor of this contest, Walker provided the fireworks with two key blasts that the Lion duo of Cam Rich and Kim Layton couldn’t handle. Before long, the Rush had built a formidable 8-5 lead at side change, thanks to stellar defensive play and clever dinking.

Layton and Rich, refreshed, got their mojo going after the break, with Layton absolutely crushing the Rush with three huge returns, as well as contributing to great team defense with Rich to get the game to 10-10. The Rush, however, weren’t going away as they used some great offensive play and one big Forsythe smash to put the Lions on the ropes at 14-12.

The game would boil down to who could break each other on freeze and the Lions had to do it twice to the Rush with the score favoring their opponents at 14-13. The Lions did finally get serve back, won a point to tie it and then, as this game was typified, Layton won it with a forehand bomb.

Rush Too Much for Lions in Match-Winning Tilt

The Lions mixed doubles pair of Eric Gagnon and Grace Thomas fought valiantly to try and force a singles tiebreaker, but the Rush’s Sunny Buttar and Casey Rodgers had just that little extra to hand their team a big match triumph.

As in previous games in this match, the Rush got off to a quick start, and getting some good fortune when veteran Gagnon put three straight dinking returns into the net for a 3-1 Rush lead. The Lions, however, were quite resilient, playing great team defense to go up 6-4. The Rush, as was their fashion, weren’t deterred by Montreal’s gains, scoring four straight points to go into the side change up 8-6.

Rodgers and Buttar then poured it on offensively, extending the lead to 12-8, with both recording huge returns for points.

Gagnon and Thomas didn’t give up, much to the Rush’s chagrin, with the pair rebounding from earlier miscues by playing stout defense, combined with great dinking play and a couple of lasers to bring the score to 12-11.

The Rush didn’t flinch and were able to put the dagger into the Lions, but not after the Lions put up a pitched battle. The Rush held freeze at 14-11 but couldn’t put it away until it was 14-13. Buttar then won it on a glorious return.




Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Cam Rich00121511514Kim Layton
Kim Layton00141511514Cam Rich
Eric Gagnon00121501415Grace Thomas
Grace Thomas00141501415Eric Gagnon

General Manager: Jay Devilliers


Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Brett Forsythe01151201415Alex Walker
Casey Rodgers01151411514Sunny Buttar
Alex Walker01151401415Brett Forsythe
Sunny Buttar11151211514Casey Rodgers

General Manager: Brett Forsythe