Vancouver, BC (Saturday, January 17, 2015) – The Vancouver Stealth and Buffalo Bandits competed in an entertaining back and forth battle which came down to the wire as Vancouver was seconds away from sending the game to overtime. In the end, it wasn’t meant to be as the Bandits edged out the Stealth 14-13 on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.
The Stealth were led by 8 points (2g, 6a) from Rhys Duch, 6 assists from Johnny Powless (6a), and 4 points (3g, 1) from Lewis Ratcliff. Tyler Richards made 41 saves on 55 shots in a losing cause.
“We competed hard,” said Head Coach Dan Perreault. “It was just mistakes. We took a couple delay of games penalties in a tight game. We did have some great efforts. T-Rich made some fantastic saves and we had some great individual efforts but when you make mistakes early it’s hard to get that goal back.”
In a game where the biggest lead was only 3 goals, fans at the LEC were on the edge of their seats waiting for the Stealth to make a run. The Bandits, thanks to Dhane Smith’s 8 points (5g, 3a) were able to stop Vancouver’s momentum at key times.
“We answered at the right time,” said Bandits Head Coach Troy Cordingley. “It’s a tough game to come and play against a team that was real hungry especially after their last game. It was a big focus tonight to get our offense off the floor during their transition game. We did a real good job at that.”
Vancouver clawed back from an early 4-1 deficit and trailed 5-3 after the first quarter. Powless was in on all 3 goals in the quarter and John Tavares had two helpers for Buffalo heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter saw the Stealth climb back within one when Ratcliff scored his first of the game. In an unusual circumstance, Buffalo was awarded a penalty shot on a Too Many Men call by the official. Smith would end up beating Richards to make it 6-4. The Stealth would score the next two goals to even things up at 6 thanks to goals by Joel McCready and Justin Salt before the Bandits would score the next 3 to go into the half with a 9-6 lead.
The second half wouldn’t disappoint when Ratcliff scored the first 2 goals of the third quarter to cut the Bandits lead to 9-8. Buffalo would answer right back scoring twice in under two minutes making it 11-8. Tyler Digby and Conrad Chapman scored his first goal of his young NLL career as the Stealth trailed 11-10 early in the fourth quarter. In the final few minutes with Vancouver trailing 14-13, had one last opportunity as Powless was able to get a clear shot off only to be stopped by Anthony Cosmo.
“They came up and set the pick, I faked low but I just have to score on my chances next time,” said Powless.
“The guys didn’t quit,” said Perreault. “They kept working right until the final buzzer. We had a great look at the end but didn’t score.”
The game saw 39 minutes in total penalties including 3 bench minors for Too Many Men, 3 Delay of Games and 2 Fighting majors.
The Stealth are on the road next week when they visit the Mile High city as they look for their second win of the season against the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday, January 24. They’ll return home the following week to face the Mammoth at the LEC on Saturday, January 31.
STEALTH NOTES: FINAL SCORE: Stealth 13 – Bandits 14, SHOTS ON GOAL: Stealth 40 – Bandits 55, SAVES: Tyler Richards 41-55 (L) – Anthony Cosmo 27-40 (W), LOOSE BALLS: Stealth 39 – Bandits 79, FACE-OFFS: Stealth 8-32 – Bandits 24-32, POWERPLAY: Stealth 3-9 – Bandits 1-5.
The 3 Stars of the Game:
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