NLL: Stealth hosts Roughnecks in Critical Contest

The Washington Stealth take on the Calgary Roughnecks Saturday night in a game with significant playoff implications.

The Roughnecks and Stealth are currently tied at 7-5 in second place in the NLL West. The winner of this game moves into a tie with the Edmonton Rush for first in the division.

More than that, if the Stealth win, they take the three-game season series against the Roughnecks and will have the advantage over Calgary should a tie-breaker scenario come up in the post season.

The Roughnecks are on a two-game winning streak after dispatching the Minnesota Swarm and Colorado Mammoth. But beating the two worst teams in the division is one thing; taking on one of the top two is another.

Since being held to just nine goals against the Rush in early February, Calgary has been on a torrid offensive pace, averaging 14.5 goals per game over their last six.

Shawn Evans continues to lead the league scoring race, with a career-high 82 points, while Dane Dobbie and Curtis Dickson have both already passed the 30-goal barrier, with 32 and 31 goals respectively.

Transition Geoff Snider is having yet another excellent season, leading the team in loose balls (183) and, of course, faceoff wins (231). Both of those totals are also tops in the NLL. He also leads the Roughnecks in forced turnovers with 24, good for second in the league.

Geoff’s little brother Bob is having a similarly strong year with Washington. He is currently third in the NLL in loose balls (136) and faceoff wins (196) with a game in hand on Jay Thorimbert who currently sits in second in those categories.

Watching the Snider brothers do battle in the faceoff circle is always a treat, as we get to see the best of the best match up against each other.

The rest of the Stealth roster is smarting after being soundly defeated last weekend by Minnesota, who held them to just five goals.

Team scoring leader Rhys Duch (69 points) figured in four of the five goals last weekend.

Goaltender Tyler Richards is third in the league in goals against average, with a 10.52 and is having an fine year between the pipes for Washington.

The ball drops at 7:00 pm in Everett.