Rush vs Lions



Date Time League Season Home Away Court
September 3, 2023 4:40 pm Canadian National Pickleball League 2023 Rush Lions 2


Edmonton Expo Centre
Edmonton Expo Centre, 7515, 118 Avenue NW, Edmonton Northlands, Greater Highlands, Edmonton, Alberta, T5B 0J2, Canada


Rush Crush Lions in Four-Game Match

Lions go Meekly in Big Loss to Rush in Mixed Doubles

For two points at least, the Montreal Lions mixed doubles team of Eric Gagnon and Grace Thomas were in this opening game. However, the Vancouver Rush pair of Nathan Choi and Casey Rodgers completely took over at 1-1, eventually stomping their counterparts 15-5.

Choi followed teammate Rodgers – the Player of the Match previously – with a superb effort in this one, setting up the Lions on three occasions for unforced errors and allowing his team to take a commanding 8-1 lead and force a timeout. It wasn’t an all-Choi contest either, with Rodgers contributing to the Lions misery with a wicked cross to make it 9-2.

Choi did make a couple of blunders of his own late in this one, but also made life miserable for Gagnon and Thomas with a cross, a drop and a flick that all fell for points. Aptly, the final point was scored by the Rush when Gagnon was called for a foot foul.

Second Mixed Doubles Game Proves Livelier as Rush Topple Lions

For a little while, this game looked like it was going to be another Lions slaughter, as the Rush’s Brett Forsythe and Alex Walker gave the Lions’ Cam Rich and Kim Layton a thorough beating. The Lions, to their credit, fought gamely and were able to push hard enough to get this contest to a late tie before succumbing 15-13.

This tilt started slowly as both squads felt each other out, until the Rush found the chinks in the Lions’ armor. It was tied 2-2 when Forsythe and Walker went on an extended run, reeling off seven to the Lions two to make it 9-4 and force a timeout. In those rallies, Forsythe ripped two great shots and Walker converted on a brilliant overhand as well.

The Rush kept up the pressure and lead 11-6, when the tide started to turn against them. Rich made two outstanding set-ups in a row for points and later combined with Layton on defense and dinking to stifle any Rush attack and get the game to a 12-12 draw. However, that was all the fight the Lions could muster, with Forsythe and Walker combining to go ahead on dinking and then Forsythe finishing off their opponents with a great flick.

Lions Women’s Doubles Keep Match Hopes Alive with Impressive Win

Once again, the Lions started out slowly. However, this time the Lions women’s doubles team of Grace Thomas and Kim Layton made a brilliant charge back to clip the Rush’s team of Alex Walker and Casey Rodgers, by a count of 15-13.

Before the Pickleroll floor even had a chance to get scuffed, the Rush held a 4-0 margin over the Lions, due to unforced errors on serve and returns. The Lions toughed it out, though, and chipped away at the Rush, with Layton setting them up for an unforced error and then combining with Thomas on defense to tie it 5-5. Then they swung it the other way, making the Rush take a timeout down 8-6.

The Lions wouldn’t relinquish the lead the rest of the way, but Rodgers and Walker made things interesting, staring with a wicked Walker overhand to make it 8-7. Layton and Thomas answered right back, with dinking, flicks, and crosses to up the lead to 12-8 and force a timeout. The Rush then battled back, scoring three straight on astute transition and shot making, but failing to capitalize until it was 14-11 Lions. Walker did singe the Lions with a flick and an overhand winner, but a Lions rally finished them off.

Rush Finish Lions with Convincing Men’s Doubles Triumph

There was a reason Nathan Choi was chosen Player of the Match, and in this thorough beating of the Lions, he was front and center. Choi was a force of nature on the Pickleroll court, sending all manner of devastating shots that the Lions pair of Cam Rich and Eric Gagnon had little chance of returning in a 15-10 Rush match-clinching win.

Choi’s teammate Brett Forsythe got the Rush into the game, sending a flick to cut an early Lions lead to 2-1. Choi then contributed two blistering crosses to put them up, before Rich replied with a massive overhand of his own to tie it. The Rush, with Choi leading the charge, sent things to a timeout by scoring four straight.

After the break, Choi added insult to injury with a flick that hit Rich to go ahead 8-3. He would add a crazy lob and another overhand in a sequence that led to a Rush 12-8 lead and command of the match. It ended mercifully when Choi set up Gagnon for a net return.




Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Alex Walker00131511513Brett Forsythe
Brett Forsythe01151011513Alex Walker
Casey Rodgers0013151155Nathan Choi
Nathan Choi1115101155Casey Rodgers

General Manager: Brett Forsythe


Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Cam Rich00101501315Kim Layton
Eric Gagnon0010150515Grace Thomas
Grace Thomas0115130515Eric Gagnon
Kim Layton01151301315Cam Rich

General Manager: Jay Devilliers

Past Meetings

1 - 3
The Sleeman Centre

Lions vs Rush

Home: Lions
Away: Rush
Court: 2