The Washington Stealth entered tonight’s game against the Calgary Roughnecks riding high after a pair of convincing wins, but the National Lacrosse League West Division leader halted the Stealth momentum with a 17-13 win at the Comcast Arena at Everett. The Stealth falls to 5-6 on the season, but still remains in third place in the West.
The Stealth opened the scoring three-and-a-half minutes into the game on a goal from Luke Wiles. Less than a minute later, a Calgary (7-3) penalty brought on the NLL’s top power play unit, entering the game converting on 50% of their extra man opportunities. The Stealth also entered the game allowing the most shorthanded goals in the league, and the Roughnecks exploited that with two shorthanded goals in a 30-second span.
The Stealth eventually converted on the power play chance to even the score at two. The Roughnecks took a 4-3 lead at the end of the first as Jeff Shattler scored his second goal of the night as time expired in the opening frame.
After scoring the last two goals of the first quarter, Calgary extended its lead to three with two goals in the opening two minutes of the second. The Stealth answered with goals from Mike Grimes, who scored twice in the game and leads all NLL defenseman with 17 points, and Lewis Ratcliff to make it 6-5 midway through the second quarter. The Roughnecks scored three of the next four goals and took a 9-6 into the locker room at the halftime break.
The Roughnecks tallied their lone power play goal of the game at the 11:40 mark of the third quarter to extend the lead to four goals. With the score 11-7 in favor of the Roughnecks, the Stealth scored twice in the final three minutes of the quarter to get within two goals heading into the final stanza.
The Stealth cut the deficit to one goal for the first time since the second quarter with 9:26 left in regulation when Cam Sedgwick scored his second goal of the night to make it 12-11. Three minutes later, with the score 13-12, the Roughnecks scored four straight, including two empty netters to close the door on a Stealth comeback. Wiles added a goal with eleven seconds remaining to make the final score 17-13 in favor of the visitors.
“We didn’t play with any grit or determination tonight,” said Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall after the game. “Giving up two shorthanded goals to open the game was a great example of that. We got off to a slow start and couldn’t recover.”
Wiles finished with four goals and an assist to lead the Stealth offense. Duch had a team-high six points on two goals and four assists. Lewis Ratcliff, Sedgwick and Grimes each added two goals. Defenseman Jeff Moleski added a career-high five assists. Stealth goaltender Tyler Richards made 37 saves in the loss.
The Roughnecks were led by Shattler, who tallied a game-high nine points (4g, 5a). Dane Dobbie added five goals and Curtis Dickson finished with a hat trick. Daryl Veltman added two goals and three assists. Goaltender Mike Poulin made 38 saves in the win.
The Stealth has next weekend off before returning to action against the Boston Blazers on March 25 at the Comcast Arena. Tickets for the game are available now by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.