The Washington Stealth got its back-to-back weekend underway tonight, losing 10-9 to the Edmonton Rush at Rexall Place. Tyler Richards made 47 saves in a back-and-forth contest as the Stealth falls to 3-8 on the season.
The Rush jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before the Stealth got on the board with a shorthanded goal by Rhys Duch. The teams exchanged goals for the remainder of the quarter with Athan Iannucci scoring his first of the night to make it 4-3 after one.
Iannucci tallied his second straight just two minutes into the second quarter to tie the score at four. Goals by Dean Hill and Jeff Zywicki gave the Stealth a 6-4 lead midway through the quarter, but the Rush answered with a pair of goals to make it 6-6 at the halftime break.
The Stealth was outshot 32-19 in the first half, but 26 saves by Richards in the half kept the Stealth in the game.
Hill completed his hat trick early in the third quarter as the Stealth regained the lead. The Rush answered in a big way however, notching three straight goals to take a 9-7 lead going into the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t execute the game plan on defense and they scored three or four goals as a result,” said Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall after the game. “(Tyler Richards) bailed us out with some great saves, but our execution was horrendous at times and it cost us.”
The Stealth scored just three goals after taking the 6-4 lead halfway through the second quarter.
“Our offense was stagnant at times, especially in the second half,” said Hall. “We simply need to be better considering the talent we have on the floor.”
The Stealth offense mounted a comeback in the fourth. Lewis Ratcliff scored his only goal of the night early in the final stanza to pull the Stealth within a goal. But with 8:23 left in regulation, Edmonton’s Shawn Williams scored to make it 10-8. It would prove to be the game-winner.
Zywicki got his second goal of the game with just 18 seconds left on the clock to make it 10-9, but on the final possession, Edmonton goaltender Aaron Bold made a crucial save and the Rush was able to run out the clock and escape with the 10-9 victory.
Hill led the Stealth with three goals, while Zywicki and Iannucci each added a pair. Rhys Duch finished with a goal and four assists. Bob Snider went 17-for-23 at the face-off circle and collected a game-high 11 loose balls. Richards finished with 47 saves in the loss.
The Rush was led by Zack Greer, who tallied four goals. Williams finished with two goals and four assists while Corey Small and Scott Evans each had two goals and an assist. Bold made 30 saves in the win.
The Stealth will be forced to put this game behind them quickly, as they head back to the Comcast Arena tomorrow for a bout with the Minnesota Swarm. The Stealth’s annual Pink in the Rink event, featuring a fundraiser benefiting the Providence Comprehensive Breast Center, is slated to begin at 4:45pm in Everett.
Tickets for the Pink in the Rink game start at just $7 and are available by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.