March 19, 2016- Langley, BC- The Saskatchewan Rush won a high scoring game over the Vancouver Stealth 24-16 on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre. Coming into the game, the Stealth led the season series 1-0 after beating the Rush 13-11 on January 15. Tyler Richards started in goal for the Stealth, while Aaron Bold played for the Rush.
41 seconds into the game, Ben McIntosh opened the scoring on Saskatchewan’s second shot of the quarter. Soon after, Curtis Knight and Jeremy Thompson scored two goals 14 seconds apart to make it 3-0 before the three-minute mark of the game. On the next Stealth possession, Rhys Duch got the home team on the score sheet and reached a milestone after scoring his 22nd goal of the season. With the goal, Duch extended his lengthy point streak to 100 games. 52 seconds later, Cliff Smith put away his first goal of the year after Tyler Hass stole the ball at centre and set up set up Smith on an odd-man rush. After Curtis Knight made it 4-2, Joel McCready beat Bold with two identical looking goals from long range on the left side of the floor. For McCready, it was his 13th and 14th goals of the season. Jordan Durston earned an assist on both tallies. The tie would not last long, as the Rush got back to back markers from Robert Church at 6:31 and Riley Loewen at 7:25. Just under three minutes later, Church scored his second of the quarter to give his team a three goal advantage at 7-4. During a Stealth power play, McCready registered the first quarter hat-trick after sneaking a shot stick-side on Bold that just got across the goal line. Duch and Small had the helpers. McCready’s fantastic opening quarter continued, as he went on to score his fourth of the contest with another outside shot at the 12:20 mark to get the Stealth to within one. Small and Durston were in on the assists. After one quarter, the score favoured Saskatchewan 7-6.
30 seconds into the second quarter, Church capitalized on a Saskatchewan power play to make it 8-6. With 13:40 to play, the Rush picked off a pass at centre and scored a goal in transition courtesy of Nik Bilic to get the Rush ahead by three goals once again. Zach Greer would score the visitors 10th goal of the game at 2:21 and spelled the end to Tyler Richards evening, as Eric Penney came in off the bench to replace him. Rookie Jordan Durston ended Saskatchewan’s three-goal run scoring his 12th goal of the year off a pass from McCready near the crease and made it 10-7. Just over a minute later, Knight put in his third of the game and pushed the Rush lead to four goals. However, Rhys Duch scored his second and third of the night to make it a three-goal game, with just over eight minutes to play in the first half. Jeff Moleski had the assist on his second, while McCready and Small were in on the hat-trick marker. At 7:22, the Stealth reached double digits with Small scoring his 22nd goal of the campaign on a power play. Keegan Bal and Duch earned the assists. Under three minutes later, McIntosh scored his teams sixth goal of the quarter and 13th of the game to go in front by three goals. With 10 seconds remaining in the half, Curtis Knight scored his fourth of the game to close out a high scoring 30 minutes of action. The Rush led 14-10, and had the shot lead 39-22. Both Rhys Duch and Joel McCready had six points each for the Vancouver Stealth.
The Stealth came out of the gates in the second half and got a goal from Corey Small 59 seconds into the third quarter. Small did great work to fend off a couple Saskatchewan checks and beat Bold with a bounce shot to make it 14-11. Duch and Bal had the assists. With 11:40 to play, the Rush would get that goal right back with a 6 on 5 marker from Zach Greer. After taking a cross floor pass from Durston, Duch fired in a shot over the shoulder of Bold from the left side of the floor for his fourth of the game. At 5:17, McCready buried his fifth of the game with an outside shot that fooled Bold and would end the Rush goaltender’s night. Back-up Tyler Carlson would come in relief from the Rush bench. Justin Salt would be the first to beat Carlson, as the Coquitlam native scored on a breakaway to get the Stealth to within a goal. Tyler Hass had the lone helper on Salt’s second of the season. During a Stealth two-man advantage, Duch notched his fifth of the game with a hard shot that found the top right corner that tied the game at 15-15. Small and Durston had the assists. At 11:14, Greer put the Rush back on top after scoring his fourth of the evening during a delayed penalty to the Stealth. Saskatchewan took a 16-15 lead going into the fourth quarter and held a 50-42 shot advantage.
The Rush began the fourth quarter getting a pair of goals from Matthews and one from McIntosh before the two-minute mark and went ahead 19-15. Saskatchewan kept their goal scoring run going with two more tallies from Curtis Knight and Adrian Sorichetti to go up by a score of 21-15 with over 11 minutes to play. Ben McIntosh would score his teams sixth and seventh straight goal in the fourth quarter with back to back markers and extended the Rush lead to 23-15. With 1:55 to play, Duch registered the sock-trick (sixth goal) with a diving shot across the crease that beat Carlson. Small had the lone assist. However, Greer closed out the contest scoring his fifth goal of the game with 1:03 to go, as the Rush went on to a 24-16 victory.
“We probably want to forget what happened in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter. Up until that point, I thought we battled really hard after battling down four goals twice,” said Head Coach Jamie Batley, who made his coaching debut.
In total, 40 goals were scored between the two teams, as six different players recorded hat-tricks.Rhys Duch led the way for Vancouver with his best offensive effort of the season scoring 6 goals and adding 5 assists. Zach Greer finished his night putting up 5 goals and 6 assists for Saskatchewan. Joel McCready also had a season high 5 goals and 3 assists, while Jordan Durston had a career high of 1 goal and 5 assists. Eric Penney was charged the loss stopping 25 of 39 shots, while Tyler Carlson picked up the win allowing 3 goals on 19 shots.
The Stealth are back in action on Saturday, March 25 in Buffalo against the Bandits at 4:30pm PST. The next home game is on Saturday, April 2 against the Toronto Rock at 7:00pm PST. Tickets are available online at www.stealthlax.com or by phone at 604.882.8800.
FINAL SCORE: Rush 24 – Stealth 16, SHOTS ON GOAL: Rush 67 – Stealth 50, LOOSE BALLS: Rush 82 – Stealth 53 FACE-OFFS: Rush 25-44 – Stealth 19-44, POWERPLAY: Stealth 3-4 – Rush 1-3.