Vancouver, BC (Friday, April 24, 2015) – The Vancouver Stealth play their final road game of the regular season as they visit the Buffalo Bandits at 4:30PM PST at the First Niagara Centre. The game can be seen on TSN.ca and Universal Sports.
The Stealth are coming off a hard fought game last Saturday against the defending champion Rochester Knighthawks at the Langley Events Centre. A career-high five-goal performance from Joel McCready along with seven points from Rhys Duch was not enough as Rochester came away with a 13-9 victory.
“We’ve competed well the last two weekends,” said Stealth Head Coach Dan Perreault. “I liked the effort the guys put in last weekend. We didn’t get the result we wanted but it was a good Rochester team. Now we’re in Buffalo and we know it’s going to be a tough place to play. They’ve got a good home record. It’s a good test and we have to be at our best the next two games.”
“We know there’s a big game on May 2 but we can’t overlook Buffalo,” said Captain Curtis Hodgson. “This is a great opportunity for us to build momentum and prepare ourselves for the game against Calgary.”
The Stealth received some good news as Tyler Garrison is back on the active roster and will play on Saturday. The transition player has missed the last nine games due to injury.
“I can’t wait to step back out on the floor,” said Garrison. “It’s been a while, I’m ready to go.”
The game against the Bandits is their second this season as the two teams met early in the year at the LEC in week three of the NLL’s regular season. Despite eight points from Duch and a brilliant effort in goal by Tyler Richards, Vancouver was unable to complete the comeback, as they were edged out 14-13 by the visitors.
Buffalo has all but clinched the final playoff spot in the East Division. With three games remaining, the Bandits need to win one of their remaining games or have New England lose one of their four games left on their schedule.
“We don’t want to wait for New England to lose or have somebody else help us to get us in,” said Assistant Coach Dan Teat. “We want to do ourselves a favour.”
Vancouver will look to chalk up another win against an Eastern opponent as they come into Saturday’s game with a 2-4 record against the East with wins over Minnesota and most recently New England on April 12. As for throwing some new tricks into the Stealth playbook, Perreault says don’t count on it.
“We’re not going to get too creative at this point in time,” he said. “We have to just approach it as if we’re entering the playoffs. You have to be at your best this time of year.”
Regardless of the outcome against Buffalo, Vancouver’s season will come down to the final game of the regular season the following week when they host the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday, May 2 at the LEC. The winner of that game gets the final playoff berth in the NLL’s West Division. After the game, BC minor lacrosse players who wear their jerseys will be invited down to the turf for the ‘Stealth Experience.’ Kids will get the opportunity to play with the Stealth where they will have a chance to shoot on a Stealth goalie, pass the ball with a Stealth player, get autographs and other lacrosse activities. As a part of the ‘Stealth Experience’, BC minor lacrosse players get in for free when they wear their minor lacrosse jerseys. For full details on how to reserve your tickets and take part, visit www.StealthLAX.com for all the details.
STEALTH PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Rhys Duch – The forward is on his way to setting a career high in points. He has already surpassed his 2014 point total as the Victoria native has 90 points (34g, 56a) in 16 games. He had 80 (36g, 44a) last season. His career high was 96 points (45g, 51a) in 2013.
Joel McCready – After a career-high five goals against his former team last week, the forward has more goals this season than the five previous seasons combined in Rochester. McCready also has a personal best 50 points (30g, 20a) in 16 games with the Stealth. His previous high was 29 points in 2014 with the Knighthawks.
Tyler Digby – A solid rookie year but an even better sophomore season for the New Westminster, BC product. Digby has scored at least one goal in all 16 games this season and is second on the team with 33 markers (Duch – 34). He’s already leapt ahead of his point total from last season as the forward has contributed with 65 points (33g, 32a), surpassing his 58 in 2014.
For details visit www.StealthLAX.com