Vancouver, BC (Friday, February 27, 2015) – The Vancouver Stealth (3-4) will look to keep the home cooking going as they shoot for their third straight win at the Langley Events Centre when they welcome the Minnesota Swarm (3-4) for their one and only meeting this year. Faceoff is at 7:00PM and fans can catch the game on TSN.ca or NLL LIVE.
Vancouver was in a back-and-forth battle last week in Calgary but came up on the short end, falling 16-13 on Saturday night to the Roughnecks at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Rhys Duch scored a team-high 8 points (4g, 4a) and Corey Small had 7 points (4g, 3a) in the defeat.
“Not the result we wanted but it was a battle,” said Head Coach Dan Perreault.
“You look at game tape and focus on certain things and your own group,” he added. “You think you’re moving ahead in certain departments, and in our last game a couple of things got away from us. We’re going to have to get back to fundamentals again and focus on Minnesota.”
Vancouver is tied for first in power play goals and leads the league with a shooting percentage of .217. On the opposite end, the team is eighth in loose balls and ninth in faceoff percentage, something faceoff man Mitch McMichael knows has to change.
“It was a bit of a slow start for me personally in the faceoff dot,” he said. “The last couple games I’ve started to get a lot more comfortable with my technique and my reaction time to the whistle. At the same time it’s not just me against whoever I’m facing off against, it’s all five of us on the floor against all five of their guys.”
Last season, the Stealth beat the Swarm in their very first regular season game at the LEC, 8-5 but will face a Minnesota team that’s well-rested, coming off a bye week.
“We had some guys banged up and this gives them some time to heal, prepare and watch film” said Assistant Coach Aime Caines. “We’ve been really focused on Vancouver these last couple of weeks.”
The Swarm’s roster includes leading scorer Callum Crawford (12g, 21a), Ladner, BC’s Logan Schuss (10g, 10a) and Miles Thompson (12g, 13a), the third overall pick in this year’s NLL Entry Draft.
Stealth goaltender Tyler Richards seems to be finding his groove, stopping 123 of the last 160 shots he’s faced. The addition of Corey Small has proved beneficial as the forward has scored 23 points (9g, 14a) in 4 games with the team.
“The chemistry is very important on any team and the guys are buying in,” commented Perreault. “It’s just fundamentals, little mistakes that cost you in this league. Overall, I like the group, I like the leadership and we’re striving to be better each week.”
Saturday night is Hall of Fame Night as the first one-thousand fans will receive a pack of Hall of Fame Cards. Vancouver native Leah Pells will take part in the ceremonial faceoff. Pells represented Canada at three consecutive Summer Olympics, from 1992 to 2000. She finished fourth in the 1500 metre race in 1996 games in Atlanta. Pells won the silver medal in the women’s 1500 metres at the 1999 Pan American Games. In 1998, she was the top ranked woman in the world in the 1500 metres.
The Stealth would like to head into next week’s bye weekend with a victory as they don’t play again until Saturday, March 14 when they visit the Edmonton Rush before coming back home for a divisional matchup against Colorado at the LEC on Saturday, March 21.
For details visit www.StealthLAX.com