Complete Team Effort, Belanger Collects Three Assists as the West Gets Tighter
The Vancouver Stealth (4-6) did something at home that they have only been able to do on the road: WIN. They defeated the Saskatchewan Rush (6-3) 13-9 at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday evening.
This was Vancouver’s first home win of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a more crucial time. After starting 2-0, the Stealth lost six of their next seven. The losses were heartbreaking as the Stealth were in most of them and seemed to be finding different ways of losing.
The Rush started quickly, jumping out to a quick two goal lead before Rhys Duch got the Stealth fans going netting a goal 10 minutes into the first quarter. The teams then combined for five goals in a span of 2:38. Vancouver trailed by only 5-3 after the first quarter.
Vancouver would make up that deficit in the second quarter by outscoring Saskatchewan 3-1. The Stealth know it’s a 60 minute game and you just need to chip away at any deficit. This is exactly what they did. The teams went into the half knotted at six.
As the third quarter started Vancouver took the early lead on a goal by Matt Beers. Saskatchewan replied with Adam Jones tying the game at seven.
At this point the Stealth went on a three goal run, giving them a 10-7 lead. Saskatchewan would score the final two of the quarter, the last one by Robert Church with five seconds remaining in the quarter with the goalie pulled. Vancouver took a 10-9 lead into the fourth.
Losers of three of their last four, Vancouver was looking to make sure this one did not slip away. Logan Schuss extended the Stealth lead to two goals and Corey Small scored at 7:53. The fans were getting louder, but also realized there was plenty of time to go.
Tye Belanger was a brick wall, stopping chances by Church, Matthews, and McIntosh. Justin Salt sealed the victory with a goal at 11:08 as the Stealth not only ended their own three game losing streak, but they also ended Saskatchewan’s six game winning streak.
Robert Church and Adam Jones scored twice for the Rush. Mark Matthews was held without a goal but did pick up four assists. Aaron Bold stopped 27-40 shots in defeat.
Corey Small, Logan Schuss, Justin Salt, Joel McCready and Jordan Duston all had two goals apiece for the Stealth. Small and Schuss also had three assists. Tye Belanger stopped 55-64 shots and also picked up three assists along with a big victory.
The playoff race has severely tightened up in the west. Saskatchewan only holds a half game lead over Colorado. Saskatchewan will host Colorado next Saturday at 8:30 pm.
Vancouver will travel to Colorado for a game on Sunday night at 9 pm. The Stealth will look to not only make it two in a row, but will try to take advantage of a tired Mammoth team that will be in a battle the night before in Saskatchewan.