Vancouver, BC (Friday, January 23, 2015) – The Vancouver Stealth (1-2) will hit the road this weekend when they fly to Denver to take on the Colorado Mammoth (2-0) at the Pepsi Centre on Saturday night at 6:00PM PST.
The teams know each other well from last season, splitting their four matchups, with three of those games decided by one goal. The last time the Stealth were in the Mile High City they dominated the Mammoth, defeating them 19-9 in February of 2014. Rhys Duch had a big game with 11 points (4g, 7a) and Tyler Richards was in net for the win. Vancouver also edged out Colorado at the LEC in a 14-13 overtime win last January.
“We know Colorado is playing well right now and have a very strong team,” stated Head Coach Dan Perreault. “I think we match-up well so it’s going to have to be 60 minutes we’ll have to play to have success against those guys.”
After three games, Duch leads the team and the NLL with 22 points (9g, 13a) and Tyler Digby is off to an impressive sophomore campaign scoring 13 points (8g, 5a) including a four point night last week against Buffalo.
Vancouver, who sit in second place in the West Division behind Colorado, made more headlines during the week acquiring another offensive weapon in Corey Small from the Edmonton Rush.
“I’m hoping to be another offensive threat,” said Small, who scored 217 points in 64 games with Edmonton. “There’s a bunch of great offensive players, so hopefully I can fit with the group and provide another extra stick and scoring touch around the net and work well with the current offense.”
The Stealth will look to stay unbeaten on the road, after winning their only road game of the season when they came from behind to down the Calgary Roughnecks 18-14 on January 3rd. Vancouver scored 11 straight goals to quiet the lively Saddledome, and will be looking to do the same in Denver.
“The Pepsi Center is a tough place to play in,” said Perreault. “It’s loud, their fans are behind them but we welcome that challenge.”
The Mammoth who had their struggles last season, allowing the most goals (228) have got off to an impressive 2-0 start this year, in large part to Adam Jones (14pts) and John Grant Jr. (15pts), who’s back for his 15th season. Grant scored the overtime winner in their last game, edging out Calgary 17-16.
“I don’t think there are any easy games,” said Mammoth Coach Pat Coyle. “It used to be you had to stop the offense. Now the game has become where everyone is a threat to score all the time and the pace of the game is so fast that if we’re not able to match that intensity that Vancouver is going to bring in the fourth quarter, we’re going to lose games.”
With the injuries to Rory Smith, Chris O’Dougherty and Tyler Garrison, the Stealth had some new faces in the lineup last week with Tim Henderson, who missed last season due to US Military commitments and Colin Boucher, who was playing in the Canadian Lacrosse League (CLAX) before being called up.
“Sometimes you look at the roster and you’ve got good depth and all of a sudden you get hit with three injuries,” said Perreault. “You have to make adjustments; we had the opportunity to bring in Henderson and Boucher. I thought they fit in nicely for their first game.”
“It is a bit of a challenge, you want them playing together a little more,” he continued. “It’s just a matter of spending more time together, but we’re going to start to get healthy here soon.”
After Saturday, the Stealth will be back at home when they battle the Mammoth at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday, January 31 at 7:00PM PST. The first fifteen-hundred fans receive a free Stealth Team Poster.
For details visit www.StealthLAX.com