Vancouver, BC (Saturday, January 31, 2015) – 5 straight goals from 5 different goal scorers in the second quarter was the difference as the Vancouver Stealth (2-3) held on to defeat the Colorado Mammoth (3-1) 16-13, Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.
Johnny Powless scored 4 times and Corey Small had a game high 8 points (2g, 6a) as Vancouver took down the last undefeated team in the league.
“Last week was tough for me especially,” said Small. “Johnny’s (Powless) an easy guy to play with and he seems to find a way to get into open space. I’m excited to see how the year goes with him and see how our chemistry builds.”
“I thought we played pretty well,” said Powless. “It started from the back and the offense really clicked tonight. We passed the ball a lot more, that’s one thing we watched on film.”
After being held off the score sheet last week in Colorado, Powless opened the scoring, sniping one past Dillon Ward 28 seconds into the game. The Mammoth would score the next three goals and led 3-1 after the first quarter.
Vancouver saw goals from eight different players including another solid effort from Rhys Duch, who chipped in with 7 points (2g, 5a), as did Tyler Digby (1g, 6a) while Joel McCready had a hat-trick and to go along with an assist.
Brandon Clelland’s breakaway goal, his first of his NLL career proved to be the game-winner. After making only 24 saves last week, Tyler Richards stopped 45 shots, robbing Adam Jones and John Grant Jr in key moments of the game. He also assisted on a Justin Salt goal.
“We knew the importance of this game,” said Richards. “I prepared myself to see those guys especially after seeing them one week ago. You get to learn some of their tendencies and see what they’re about. I give all the credit to the defense. They kept the ball to the outside and made it easy for me.”
“This is what we’ve been waiting to see from the guys since week 1,” said Head Coach Dan Perreault. “We played a full game, our defense made some key stops and the offense was on point.”
The defense seemed re-energized and more physical with part of that being the return of veteran Chris O’Dougherty. The defenseman missed the last three weeks with a lower body injury and showed how much he brings to the team with 2 assists, 6 loose balls and some gritty defense, holding Grant Jr without a goal.
“We gave him a little too much respect last week,” said Small. “We were helping when we didn’t need to. Tonight it was more trusting each other and not over committing.”
“We worked really hard in practice the past two days and identified things we were doing fundamentally wrong,” said Richards. “That was evident tonight.”
With the victory, Vancouver stays in third place in the West Division, half a game back of Edmonton for second spot. The win means the teams have split their two meetings and will play each other two more times this season.
The Stealth head into next week with a bye and will be back in action on Saturday, February 14 when they host the Calgary Roughnecks at 7:00PM at the Langley Events Centre on Hart Breaker Night. Special guest and wrestling legend Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart will be in attendance taking pictures, visiting suite holders and signing autographs. Tickets for that game are available at www.ticketmaster.ca
STEALTH NOTES: FINAL SCORE: Stealth 16 – Mammoth 13, SHOTS ON GOAL: Stealth 46 – Mammoth 58, SAVES: Tyler Richards 45-58 (W) – Dillon Ward 30-46 (L), LOOSE BALLS: Stealth 59 – Mammoth 49, FACE-OFFS: Stealth 11-33 – Mammoth 22-33, POWERPLAY: Stealth 4-5 – Mammoth 4-5.
The 3 Stars of the Game:
For details visit www.StealthLAX.com