With their playoff hopes still alive the Vancouver Stealth (5-11) were looking to clinch the West’s final spot with a victory over the 3 time defending champs the Rochester Knighthawks (11-5).
The first quarter got under way and the Stealth looked to former K-Hawks Joel McCready to get things going. Cory Vitarelli would answer right back to tie things up for Rochester. Having many practices against his old teammate Matt Vinc, McCready would once again find the back of the net to put Vancouver back on top. Craig Point would score the quarter’s final goal as an extra attacker on the field to close things out tied 2-2.
As both teams seemed to be figuring each other out in the first quarter the Rochester Knighthawks proved they had the edge in the second winning the quarter 5-2. Rochester would get production from Steven Keogh, Paul Dawson, Scott Campbell, Cory Vitarelli, and Cody Jamieson. Dawson and Campbell’s goals coming unassisted. Vancouver’s goals coming from Joel McCready with his hat trick and Logan Schuss, going into the half trailing 7-4.
Rochester would come out of the half keeping their momentum going on the road, once again beating the Stealth on their home floor. Jordan Hall and Dan Dawson would get on the board, as Tyler Digby would try to stop the bleeding for Vancouver. It was Cory Vitarelli’s hat trick to end the quarter that would put the Stealth down and looking out with the 10-5 lead.
The Stealth, or should I say Joel McCready came out to fight scoring his 4th and 5th on the night in the only frame the Stealth would win. Jordan Hall would get his second and Cory Vitarelli would get on the board with his 4th for the night. Rhys Duch who was held in check all night got one back for the Stealth about 0:45 later, but Joe Sullivan’s empty netter put things away for Rochester. In an all out effort play to end the scoring on the night Tyler Digby closed things out at the 13:45 mark. Rochester would walk off with a chance to still steal first place in the East from the Toronto Rock. The Stealth will need to close the season strong for any chance at making the playoffs in 2015.
With a ton of roster moves, a coaching change, and struggling to still find a fan base in their new home the Stealth have their backs to the wall. With Calgary seeming to find their stride as of late, the grudge match on May 2nd to make the dance will be a barnburner for sure. Prior to that the Stealth hit the road to face the Buffalo Bandits Saturday April 25th, while Calgary will get the bye week.
Rochester will continue to make their push for the #1 seed as they close their season out against the struggling New England Blackwolves and Minnesota Swarm.