Vancouver, BC (Saturday, February 14, 2015) – The Vancouver Stealth left the Calgary Roughnecks heartbroken and still winless on Valentine’s Day and ‘Hart Breaker’ Night as the Stealth downed Calgary 13-9 at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday night.
The Stealth knew the Roughnecks would come into the LEC a hungry bunch looking for their first win, but they matched their intensity and then some with a six-goal second quarter including a pair from Tyler Digby.
“It was really important we had a great solid team game two weeks ago and it was a huge test coming in against a fantastic Calgary team that’s struggling but very dangerous and hungry for a win,” said Stealth Captain Curtis Hodgson. “It was important for us to step up and continue to follow the process that’s going to make our team successful. Everybody played their roles and at the end of the day we got the result we wanted.”
“Offensively we struggled a little bit from the start,” said Corey Small, who scored a goal and four assists. “Our defense and transition kept us in there.”
Things weren’t looking great at the beginning for Vancouver, as they got behind the eight-ball early, trailing 2-0 in the first quarter.
In an unlikely fashion, it was the Captain that got the Stealth on the board in the second quarter, as Hodgson put one past Frankie Scigliano in transition. Calgary would answer back to take a two goal lead making it 3-1 at the 7:00 minute mark. That’s when the Stealth shifted things into another gear and the offense started to find its groove. Tyler Garrison, who was playing his first game back since week 2, scored in transition and Cliff Smith got on the board 18 seconds later after a Mitch McMichael face-off win to even the game at 3. Vancouver would take its first lead on a power play goal by Rhys Duch, who was voted 1st star, finishing with 4 goals and 2 assists.
“We got behind early but we got a nice transition goal from Curtis, who got us going,” said Perreault. “We just chipped away at it and when we got the lead, we never looked back.”
With the Stealth up 6-4 going into the second half, they did what good teams do when closing out their opponents and that’s play shut down defense and score timely goals. Vancouver outscored Calgary 7-5 in quarters 3 and 4 and didn’t get sucked into the undisciplined play of the Roughnecks.
“14 power plays against is pretty tough,” said Roughnecks Head Coach Curt Malawsky. “We’re already 0 and 5 and fighting a deficit. It was like having a boxing match with your hands tied behind your back. It felt like we weren’t able to punch back. Every time we tried to punch back we got penalized for it. I’ve never been in an NLL game where there’s 14 penalties against.”
Both teams finished with four power play goals but it was some crucial saves by Tyler Richards that kept the Stealth momentum going at key times to preserve the victory. Richards had his best outing of the season, allowing under 10 goals for the first time this year.
“He’s one of the best in the league and tonight he proved it,” said Small. “When you got a guy like (Curtis) Dickson coming down and you make a big save, it’s phenomenal. He kept us in there early. He was the spark at the back-end. That’s where it all starts.”
“We’re to the point where we don’t care who scores the winner, who gets the loose ball or who makes the save,” said Perreault. “To get a win in this league it’s tough; you play hard, play as a team and get rewarded for hard work.”
Vancouver moves to 3-3 while Calgary drops to 0-6. Both teams will continue their heated rivalry next week in Cowtown as the Stealth will visit the Scotiabank Saddledome for the second time this season. In their opening game of the year, Vancouver came away with an 18-14 victory.
STEALTH NOTES: Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart was in attendance as the special guest. He dropped the ceremonial face-off and signed autographs and took pictures.
FINAL SCORE: Stealth 13 – Roughnecks 9, SHOTS ON GOAL: Stealth 51 – Roughnecks 46, SAVES: Tyler Richards 37-46 (W) – Frankie Scigliano 37-49 (L), Mike Poulin 1-1, LOOSE BALLS: Stealth 38 – Roughnecks 41, FACE-OFFS: Stealth 12-24 – Roughnecks 12-24, POWERPLAY: Stealth 4-14 – Roughnecks 4-9.
The 3 Stars of the Game:
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