It was a chaotic evening at the Comcast Arena at Everett tonight, as the Washington Stealth (1-4) and Calgary Roughnecks (3-2) accumulated 141 penalty minutes in the first quarter alone, but followed that up with a back-and-forth battle between a pair of talented lacrosse teams. A goal with two minutes left in regulation proved to be the difference as the Roughnecks left Everett with a 12-11 victory.
There were fireworks from the opening face-off in this one as two heavyweights, the Stealth’s Jeff Moleski and Calgary’s Geoff Snider dropped the gloves to set the tone for the evening. From that erupted four more fights in the quarter. But following the first quarter outbursts, the two teams combined for just 21 minutes of penalties the rest of the game.
The Roughnecks scored the first two goals of the game, with the Stealth answering with goals from Rhys Duch and Brett Bucktooth. The first quarter ended with the score knotted at two.
The teams traded goal-scoring blows for the remaining 45 minutes of action, ending the second quarter tied at six and the third quarter tied at eight. Stealth goaltender Tyler Richards was stellar in goal all night, making 39 of his career-high 59 saves in the first half.
“Tyler was amazing for us tonight,” said Stealth assistant coach Art Webster. “We should have won this game based on his play. He proved that he’s one of the top goaltenders in the world tonight.”
In the fourth quarter, Calgary took a two-goal lead with goals from Snider and Daryl Veltman with 9:14 left in regulation. Following a Calgary five-minute major, Lewis Ratcliff and Cam Sedgwick evened the score at the six-minute mark with power play strikes from the outside.
The Roughnecks answered with two more goals in a two-minute span, giving Calgary a 12-10 lead with just 2:03 remaining. Ratcliff scored his fourth goal of the night with 40 seconds on the clock and a last second attempt by Rhys Duch, who had a goal and six assists in the game, was saved by Calgary goaltender Frank Scigliano as time expired giving Calgary a 12-11 victory.
Scigliano made his NLL debut in goal and made 34 saves on 39 shots in 34 minutes of action to earn the win. Jeff Shattler was named the game’s MVP with a four-goal night.
The Stealth was led by Ratcliff, who finished with four goals and three assists. Bucktooth, who was signed by the Stealth two games into the season, recorded his first hat trick in Washington and added an assist.
Despite the outcome, Webster was proud of his team’s effort in the game, but is aware that some missed opportunities played a part in the loss.
“We didn’t lose because we didn’t work hard,” he added. “We caught some bad breaks and took some bad penalties that came back to haunt us late. We need to continue to play this hard, but play with a bit more intelligence.”
The Stealth are on the road for its next contest as the team travels east to take on the Rochester Knighthawks. That game is set for February 18 at 4:30pm PST. It can be seen live on the NLL network at NLL.com.