The Washington Stealth lost its second game in as many days to the Edmonton Rush, tonight’s result a 15-14 final at the Comcast Arena at Everett. The Stealth scored five goals in the fourth quarter, but a goal by Derek Suddons with just over five minutes left in regulation proved to be the difference for the Rush.
The Stealth still remains in third place in the West Division with a 3-5 record, while the Rush pick up their first two wins at the Stealth’s expense this weekend, improving to 2-5.
The Rush came into the weekend with the lowest-scoring offense in the National Lacrosse League. That wasn’t apparent in the first quarter tonight, as they got off to a quick 4-1 start in the first six minutes of the game.
The Stealth responded however, with a pair of goals from Cam Sedgwick and one apiece from Martin Cummings and Rhys Duch as they took a 5-4 lead after one quarter of play.
Washington extended their lead to 6-4 with another Duch goal to open the second frame, but from there the second quarter belonged to the Rush. Defenseman Brett Mydske tallied three goals in the midst of seven unanswered Rush goals as they gained a five-goal edge late in the first half. Luke Wiles would add a goal for the Stealth to make the score 11-7 in favor of the Rush at halftime.
“Our goaltending went sour in the early going and our offense didn’t do a good job stopping their transition game,” said Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall following the game. “We talked at length about it, but again, we just aren’t executing on the floor.”
After a combined 18 goals in the first half, the offensive production hit a lull in the third quarter. The Stealth scored twice during an Edmonton five-minute major penalty late in the quarter, but allowed a shorthanded goal as well. With 16 seconds left in the third, Edmonton’s Scott Evans found himself alone in front and snuck one past Stealth goaltender Tyler Richards to make it 13-9 after three.
Five minutes into the fourth quarter, the Rush added another goal to take a five-goal lead. The Stealth cut the lead to three with back-to-back goals from Duch and Paul Rabil, each completing a hat trick for the game, in30 seconds. The Rush answered with a transition goal at the 5:12 mark to regain a 15-11 edge.
Down four goals with less than five minutes remaining in regulation, the Stealth offense came to life. Lewis Ratcliff scored two goals in a 24-second span to bring the Stealth within two goals with just over three minutes left. The Stealth pulled their goalie with 40 seconds left on the clock and Duch capitalized with 31 seconds remaining to pull the Stealth within one.
Stealth face-off man Bob Snider, who has lost just 11 draws in two games including a 27-for-33 effort tonight, won the ensuing face-off to give the Stealth possession with just 20 seconds left in regulation. After a shot went wide, the Stealth were unable to corral the loose ball and time ran out on the Stealth comeback, the Rush escaping with the 15-14 victory.
Duch led all scorers with nine points on four goals and five assists. Rabil finished with three goals, four assists and 12 loose balls. Ratcliff tallied two goals and six assists, while Wiles and Sedgwick added two goals apiece.
Along with his stellar performance in the face-off circle, Snider finished with a game-high 17 loose balls. Richards stopped 29 of 41 shots in the loss.
Corey Small led the Rush offense with three goals and three assists. Mydske also recorded a hat trick and Gavin Prout was credited with six assists. Edmonton goaltender Matt Disher made 40 saves in his second win of the season.
The Stealth return to the Comcast Arena on February 18 to take on the Colorado Mammoth. The game is scheduled to start at 8pm PST. Tickets for the game are available by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.