Vancouver, BC (Thursday, March 16, 2017) – The Vancouver Stealth (5-6) host the Buffalo Bandits (4-6) on Friday, March 17, 2017 at 7:30pm.
For the first time since March 2016 the Buffalo Bandits will visit the Langley Events Centre nearly two weeks to the day that the Stealth picked up their first home victory. The two teams have already met this year in January, where Buffalo handed Vancouver a convincing 21-15 loss.
The Bandits started the season dropping their first two games, but have since been gaining steam. Buffalo has won three out of their last four games including wins over Toronto, New England and Rochester. Injuries have taken their toll on the Bandit roster, including perennial goal scorer Dhane Smith, who has only appeared in eight games in the 2017 campaign but has put up impressive numbers including 16 goals, 26 assists and 42 points.
“Dhane is an athletic player, but we are going to stick to our principles that have been working for us,” said defenceman Peter McFetridge. “We are going to pressure the ball carrier, dictate where the shots are coming from and limit their opportunities no matter who has the ball on their end.”
Vancouver’s backend continued their success last weekend, limiting the Colorado Mammoth to only six goals. Goaltender Tye Belanger has been busy in the Stealth crease facing six 50-plus shot games in row where he has stopped 270 of the 331 shots on goal in the last 361 minutes of action.
“I am getting a lot of shots but they are clear and targeted. I think I am playing well behind the defence and they are playing well in front of me,” said goaltender Tye Belanger. “We are playing overall great defence; the guys are getting their bodies in front of shots but are also giving me a clear sight. Then once I make the save I am having options up the floor which gives another element to our offence.”
Belanger has been helping on the offensive-side of the ball. He is currently riding a four-game point streak where he has amassed eight assists. In addition to his offensive numbers, Belanger currently leads the NLL in save percentage at .807 and is third in the league with a 10.41 Goals Against Average. The league average is 12.13.
This Friday’s game the Stealth will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, where the first one thousand adults who buy a Trading Post beer will get a limited-edition collectors glass. Tickets are available at the Langley Events Centre Box Office at 604-882-8800, or Ticket Rocket.co.
(Cover Photo courtesy of Dan Brodie Photography)
About the National Lacrosse League:
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional indoor lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of nine franchises across the United States and Canada: Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, New England Black Wolves, Rochester Knighthawks, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock and Vancouver Stealth.