NLL: Stealth fall hard to Roughnecks

Corey Small (Photo courtesy of Garrett James Photography)

The seasonal woes continued for the Vancouver Stealth (2-15) as they faced off against the Calgary Roughnecks (8-9) on Saturday night at Langley Events Centre. The Roughnecks are arguably one of the best teams in the NLL right now, so Vancouver’s Fan Appreciation Night didn’t give the fans much to cheer about as this game was Calgary’s from the opening quarter in a 26-11 win.

Though Rhys Duch scored for the Stealth scored 34 seconds into the game, the lead was short-lived. Before the Stealth players and fans knew it, the visiting Roughnecks jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Calgary took complete control of the game in the first quarter which ultimately set the tone for the rest of the game. The Stealth were able to score one last goal in the quarter, but it wasn’t enough to steal momentum away from the Roughnecks.

The second quarter wasn’t kind to the Stealth. The Roughnecks scored four goals which prompted a change in goal. Tye Belanger came into the net to give Eric Penney the rest of the night off, but Belanger had his talents tested as well.

With the Roughnecks putting a beat down on the Stealth, the second quarter was dominated by Calgary. Led by Curtis Dickson, Calgary scored seven times with Dickson picking up three points in the frame. He led with 12 points overall (4G/8A). Calgary scored three shorthanded goals in the frame. At the end of the half, the Stealth found themselves down 11-6.

The third quarter created more problems than were solved by the Stealth as Tyler Digby scored just three minutes into the side. Goals continued to rain down on the Stealth netminders as Penney came back in to relieve Belanger. Capping off a 10 goal quarter which included seven straight goals, the Roughnecks went into the final 15 minutes up 21-8.

The final 15 minutes came and went for the Stealth with comic relief as they only gave up five goals. Four of Calgary’s five goals were scored on the power play as the Stealth lost a little bit of composure. The Roughnecks were seven for eight total.

Even though this season has been particularly tough for the Stealth, assistant captain Logan Schuss is able to see it from a particularly positive perspective.

“We can only go up from here,” he said in a team press release. “It is hard to put into words how this season went. We love the guys in our locker room and are looking to next fall.”

Tony Malcom led the Stealth with three goals and three assists.

In addition to Dickson’s 12 points, Holden Cattoni (3G/6A), Wesley Berg (3G/5A), Dane Dobbie (3G/4A) and Mitch Wilde (2G/3A) had big games for the Roughnecks. Zach Currier scored twice and added two assists while collecting 12 loose balls. Bob Snider went 28/39 in the faceoff circle.

The Stealth have a lot of pressure to rebound in a big way next season as they sit last in almost every major category.

With only 176 goals scored (averaging 10 per game) and 226 goals against (averaging 13 per game), the Stealth have some work to do on the both sides of the ball. They’re last in the league in both categories. Schuss added that he “saw kids wearing jerseys from every lacrosse organization across British Columbia and that is exactly who we want to be. We strive to be BC’s team”. In order for the Stealth to be a team BC can be proud of, excitement and a winning record can rejuvenate an otherwise less than successful franchise.

The Stealth will get a chance to end the season on their terms and look to play spoiler as they visit the Georgia Swarm on April 28th.