It was a game that will be remembered for many years for the Stealth and their fans. Over 4,700 fans rocked the Comcast Arena at Everett to propel the Washington Stealth to a 17-8 victory over heated West Division rival Colorado Mammoth in the first ever regular season lacrosse game in the State of Washington.
Jeff Zywicki earned MVP honors in the game as he got the Stealth off to a fast start with four goals in the first half. He scored the first goal just 1:31 into the game and Paul Rabil scored shorthanded later in the first to the delight of the crowd, and the Stealth never looked back. The Stealth held a 3-0 lead at the end of the first and held a 6-3 advantage at the halftime break.
The second half was much of the same for the Stealth as they outscored the Mammoth 11-5 in the final two quarters. 2009 All-Rookie Team goaltender Tyler Richards got the start in goal and stymied the Colorado offense all evening. He finished with 45 saves on 53 shots.
In all, ten Stealth players scored goals led by Zywicki who finished with five. He also dished out three assists to lead all scorers with eight points. Stealth defenseman Eric Martin recorded six points on a goal and five assists. He also grabbed 11 loose balls. 2009 Rookie of the Year Rhys Duch, who was presented with the award prior to the game, also finished with a goal and five assists. Rabil finished the night with two goals and three assists. Cam Sedgwick was credited with five assists. Mike Grimes pitched in with a goal and three assists along with a game-high 12 loose balls.
For the Mammoth, Jamie Shewchuck had four goals and an assist. Standout rookie Ilija Gajic finished with two goals and an assist. Starting goaltender Curtis Palidwor made 15 saves on 20 shots before leaving the game due to injury in the loss.
One of the big stories in the game however, was the crowd on hand. The energy level was high for 60 minutes and the players took notice. “It’s easy to feed of the energy of the crowd when they are that loud throughout the game,” said Martin. “They definitely have an impact on how we play on the floor.”
The Stealth are hoping for an even bigger turnout for their next game against a much improved Edmonton Rush squad. They take part in another West Division battle on Friday, January 15 at the Comcast Arena. Tickets are available now and can be purchased by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.