Vancouver, BC (Friday, March 13, 2015) – First place is on the line this weekend when the Vancouver Stealth visit the Edmonton Rush on Saturday night at Rexall Place. Game time is 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.
The Stealth should be a confident, well-rested squad, coming off a bye week and sit at 4-4, tied with Edmonton for first place in the West Division.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” said Head Coach Dan Perreault. “We’re going to face a real hungry Edmonton team. They’re not happy losing a couple of overtime games. They’re a strong team, they do a lot of things well; we have to be prepared for it.”
Vancouver’s last game was one for the record books as they put up a season-high 21 goals against the Minnesota Swarm two weeks ago at the Langley Events Centre. It marked the first time since 2003 since the franchise reached that number.
“Any time your team scores 20 goals, you feel like you’re doing something right,” said Rhys Duch, who leads the Stealth with 52 points in 8 games. “We’ve had some high output numbers on offense this year. We haven’t played a defense like Edmonton. It’s going to be a big test to see if we can keep that going.”
Vancouver leads the league, averaging 14.25 goals per game, something the Rush know they’ll have to keep in check.
“Our defense hasn’t been like it’s been in the past,” said Rush defenseman Ryan Dilks. “We’re hoping to change that this weekend. Vancouver’s got a lot of firepower; we’ll have to be ready and bring our ‘A’ game.”
Edmonton, after a slow start, losing their first two games, strung together four straight wins before losing their last two games in overtime including a 12-11 loss to the Calgary Roughnecks last Sunday.
“I don’t think we’re playing well,” said Rush Head Coach and General Manager Derek Keenan. “We need to play with more grit. Our guys have become a little complacent. We need to get back to the urgency we’ve played with and that compete level we’ve played with consistently in this league.”
This will also mark the return of Stealth forward Corey Small to Edmonton, who spent four full seasons with the Rush before being dealt to Vancouver this season. In five games with the Stealth, Small has an impressive 32 points.
“He’s a team guy,” commented Perreault. “He shares the ball well and shoots the ball well. He’s been a great fit on our left side. You can see the chemistry developing.”
“If he gets an inch to shoot the ball, he’s going to score quite often,” added Keenan. “Their offense is high-octane, their scoring percentage is off the charts; they’re a highly efficient group. “They’re going to be hard to play against, we have to be at our best on Saturday night.”
This will be the first of three meetings between these two teams, who will play a home-and-home on back-to-back nights on April 3 and 4.
The Stealth’s next home game is next week when they host the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday, March 21. It’s BC Lacrosse Association Night (BCLA) where the team will be wearing special edition BCLA jersey’s which fans will be able to bid on before and during the game. The jerseys will be given away after the game. Proceeds will be going to the BCLA’s Lacrosse on the Move Fund.
For details visit www.StealthLAX.com