The Washington Stealth beat the Calgary Roughnecks 16-14 in a West Division matchup that pushed the Stealth ahead of the Roughnecks for first in the division.
After outscoring the Roughnecks 11-4 between the second and third quarters, the Stealth weathered a late charge in the final frame to hang on for the victory.
Calgary got out to an early 2-1 lead after one quarter and picked up their third goal 30 seconds into the second before Washington went on a tear, scoring three times in less than a minute to jump out ahead.
After that, the momentum shifted with the Stealth slowly pushing out to a two-goal lead at the half.
The third quarter was all Washington as they scored five times, including three goals on three shots against Roughnecks backup goalie Frankie Scigliano after starter Mike Poulin was briefly pulled.
Calgary mustered up a major comeback in the fourth, scoring seven times against a single Washington goal to knot the contest at 13-13 before a late goal by Rhys Duch put the Stealth ahead for good.
Duch led all scorers in the game with a hat trick and 10 total points while Athan Iannucci scored four goals for the winning cause.
Jeff Shattler paced the Roughnecks attack with a hat trick and six points.
In the “Battle of the Sniders,” Geoff of the Roughnecks easily bested his little brother Bob in the faceoff circle, with Geoff winning 25 draws versus Bob’s seven wins. That puts Geoff ahead 183-150 overall in faceoff victories this season, widening the gap between the top two drawmen in the NLL.
But the story of the game was goaltending.
For the third straight game, Calgary starter Poulin had a sub-par performance. The defending league Goaltender of the Year stopped only 33 of 46 shots and backup Scigliano continued to struggle in short appearances on the floor, giving up goals on all three shots he faced.
In the Stealth net, Tyler Richards bounced back from a weak game last weekend to stone the Roughnecks, stopping 33 shots against jut nine goals against. Early in the fourth quarter Richards was forced to serve a five-minute major penalty for high sticking which brought backup Nick Patterson into the game and Calgary was able to take advantage of the substitution, scoring five times on Patterson before Richards was able to return to duty.
Were it not for Richards’ penalty, the Roughnecks likely wouldn’t have been able to make a game of it.
Both teams are now tied with 5-4 records on the season, but Washington sneaks ahead by virtue of leading the season series.
Calgary returns home next weekend after a long road trip to take on the Edmonton Rush on Saturday while Washington hosts the Minnesota Swarm on Sunday.