Vancouver, BC (Friday, April 17, 2015) – The Vancouver Stealth can get one step closer to clinching a playoff spot with a win on Saturday night when they host the Rochester Knighthawks at 7:00PM PST at the Langley Events Centre.
The Stealth travelled East last weekend for a double dip against the Toronto Rock and the New England Black Wolves. After a tough outing against the Rock, Vancouver bounced back to down the Black Wolves 11-9 last Sunday. Eric Penney stole the show, making 59 saves for his first ever NLL career win. The rookie was also voted first star of the game and earned IL Indoor’s 3rd Star of the week.
“As a goaltender you have to have a short mindset,” said Penney. “I came out ready to play, I was seeing the ball well and our defense played well. We forced them to play low percentage shots and picked up an important two points.”
“That was the perfect time for us to bond together as a team and get out of the slump we were in,” said Assistant Coach Kaleb Toth. “We’ve got three games left. We win them all we make the playoffs, it’s that simple.”
Vancouver, who sit in third place in the West Division, will try and take advantage of a Rochester team that’s playing on back-to-back nights as they were in Colorado last night for a matchup against the Mammoth. The Knighthawks lost 11-10.
“We have to come to play and can’t think they’re going to be tired or not mentally in the game,” said Toth. “We’re going to make sure the players are prepared to play. It’s going to be a good challenge for us.”
“We’re a veteran team, so it’s not going to be new for us,” said Rochester forward Dan Dawson. “We’re going to make the best of it. We understand the travel is not ideal but every team goes through it.
This marks the only meeting between the two teams this season. Last year the Stealth went into Rochester and dropped a close 10-7 to the three-time defending NLL champions. The last time the Knighthawks were at the LEC was the final of the 2013 Champions Cup when they defeated the Stealth 11-10 in an entertaining final.
“They’re the team to beat,” said Toth. “Everyone wants to beat the defending champs. We need to try and spread the defense out, get them chasing us and bury our opportunities. Their goalie is one of the best in the league and we need to test him early.”
Vancouver is hoping to get hot at the right time as they surpassed their win total from last season (4) and Rhys Duch (83) and Tyler Digby (61) have more points already this season than all of last year.
The Stealth have a game in-hand on the Calgary Roughnecks as Vancouver holds a one-half game lead on the Roughnecks for the final playoff spot with three games remaining in the regular season.
Before Saturday’s game, Pam Harknett, wife of former Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall will take part in the ceremonial faceoff.
The first one-thousand fans through the doors receive a free Stealth Lunch Bag.
For details visit www.StealthLAX.com