NLL: Stealth Outlast Roughnecks in Rubber Match

Tyler Richards turned aside 48 shots to lead the Washington Stealth to a 12-11 victory over the Calgary Roughnecks Saturday night.

One week after costing his team a win by taking a five-minute major in the fourth quarter that gave the Roughnecks a chance to take an insurmountable lead, T-Rich was on his game from start to finish, shutting down the vaunted Calgary offense.

He also got a ton of help from his goal posts as the Roughnecks rang more than a half dozen shots off the pipes along the way.

In a game where Athan Iannucci and Cliff Smith—Washington’s third- and fourth-best scorers—didn’t even dress, the Stealth needed someone to step up and be noticed and, as usual, Rhys Duch did just that. He led all scorers with seven points, including a hat trick, and scored what would hold up as the game winner with just 2:45 left on the clock.

Lweis Ratcliff and Brett Bucktooth chipped in five points apiece in the winning cause while Mike Grimes had an excellent game on defense, picking up a goal and an assist to go with a team-high eight loose balls and two forced turnovers.

Dane Dobbie led the way for Calgary with five points while Curtis Dickson scored a hat trick.

Mike Poulin was once again solid in net for the Roughnecks, stopping 38 shots, but his team let him down in the third period when penalty trouble once again reared its ugly head, leading to Calgary squandering a four-goal lead.

The Roughnecks wound up giving up eight power play opportunities to the Stealth, who were able to convert on five of them.

The win for Washington moves them into a three-way tie for first place with the Roughnecks and the Edmonton Rush, all at 8-6, but the win for the Stealth gives them the advantage over Calgary in a tie-breaker situation for determining playoff seeding.

Next week, Calgary hosts a Rochester Knighthawks squad that have now won two straight, while the Stealth face a Buffalo Bandits squad that has dropped six in a row in a late-season collapse.