Game preview: Rush @ Stealth

The three game season series between the Stealth and Rush continues tomorrow tonight. Vancouver won the first meeting on January 15 at SaskTel Centre 13-11 in a game where former Rush member Corey Small scored a natural hat-trick in the fourth quarter.

Saturday’s game will be the first behind the bench for new Head Coach Jamie Batley. The Peterborough native was named Stealth bench boss on Tuesday and brings an impressive resume to the organization. He is one of only 10 coaches in National Lacrosse League history to have surpassed 80 games coached to exceed a 50%-win record. Batley previously was at the helm of the Colorado Mammoth (2003-05), Chicago Shamrox (2006-08), and Toronto Rock (2009). He has an NLL regular season record of 43 wins and 41 losses for a 51.2%-win percentage.

“I am honoured and excited to have the opportunity to coach the Vancouver Stealth. I have watched the games this season and know they are a good group of players that are capable of going deep in the playoffs. I really like the balance of our team and hopefully we can string a few wins together, starting this weekend against the Rush,” said Batley.

The Stealth enter with a 3-7 record and are a half-game back of Calgary for third place in the West Division. The Rush will look to extend their winning streak to three games and currently sit second place in the West with a 6-3 mark.

“They are defending champions for a reason and are having another good year. Offensively, we are going to have to make some adjustments and start scoring more goals. Last week, I thought the defense played very well only allowing eight goals, along with one empty net, and hopefully we can keep the number of goals against down,” continued Batley.

Despite last week’s loss to Toronto, goaltender Tyler Richards continues to impress since joining the team on February 9. In his last two starts against Colorado (Feb. 27) and Toronto (Mar. 13), Richards has put forth a save percentage of 0.815, and in his five total appearances, has a goals against average below 10.00.

“The defense has been playing great in front of me and are putting their bodies on the line blocking shots and being physical. I am just trying to make the saves I am expected to make, which I think I have been doing and look to carry that over into our game against Saskatchewan,” said Richards.

The game promotion is ‘Lacrosse On The Move’ night with your Vancouver Stealth auctioning off special British Columbia themed game-worn jerseys. The auction resumes tonight when doors open at 5:30 PM. Following the end of the 3rd quarter break, bidders will be asked to check in at the bidding location to see if they won. If successful, payment will be required and the winners will be presented their winning jersey directly from the Stealth player on the turf following the game. All proceeds from the auction will support the Lacrosse On The Move Fund.

Game time is set for 7:00pm PST at the Langley Events Centre. The first 1000 fans into the building will also receive a pack of Stealth Player Cards.

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