Saturday night the Vancouver Stealth held it’s first home game as a franchise when they hosted the Minnesota Swarm in a game that Vancouver would win 8-5. Stealth goaltender Tyler Richards would set a new career best for goals against, holding the visiting Swarm to just 5 goals on 49 shots. Captain Kyle Sorensen and the Vancouver defense successfully limited 1st overall pick Logan Schuss and the Swarm offense to low percentage chances and outside shots all night long.
Rhys would open the scoring for the home squad on a quick release shot from Ratcliff and Bremner. Duch would score again on an outside blast from the top on a feed from Alex Gajic moments later. Minnesota’s Kiel Matisz would score the first of his two on the night next on a feed from Swarm captain Andrew Suitor. Matisz was one of the lone bright spots among the visiting offense as, even though they outshot Vancouver, many opportunities appeared forced coming at the end of a possession. The transition game would get going next for Vancouver when veteran Jeff Moleski would score on a fast break shorthanded from Sorensen. Minny’s Scott Jones would answer back when he would bury his first career NLL goal. Following him forward Josh Gillam would tally before the Stealth’s Grimes scored from the crease when Hodgson would swing the ball cross floor. The crowd would get to see the first fight of the season when rookie and hometown British Columbia native Logan Schuss would drop the gloves with a game Justin Salt.
Cliff Smith would beat Swarm goalie Tyler Carlson on a crease dive short side shot from Grimes. Callum Crawford would score the Swarm’s 4th goal on a great effort where he showed nice finish beating Richards on the inside. Bremner would score off a great face dodge getting the defender to bite then beating Carlson in tight and the Stealth would lead 6-4 after three quarters. The Stealth would cruise to victory in the fourth quarter behind Richards and a strong man down unit. Killing two Stealth penalties in the final frame and holding the Minnesota power play to 1-for-6 on the night. Vancouver rookie Tyler Digby would score his fourth goal of the season when he showed great hands catching and scoring in traffic from a Cliff Smith pass. NLL veteran Lewis Ratcliff would score to put the game out of reach for the Swarm when he would bury an outside shot low past Carlson.
Stealth net minder Tyler Richards would be the game’s first star with 44 saves. The Vancouver squad looked improved from a week two loss in Colorado and moved to 1-1 on the season. Minnesota falls to 0-2 and will play a meaningful home-and-home with the Philadelphia Wings starting next weekend. Vancouver will play host to the Colorado Mammoth where they look to even the season series.