Vancouver, BC (Saturday, January 3, 2015) – The Vancouver Stealth opened their 2015 season in a big way, scoring 11 straight goals on route to an 18-14 victory over the Calgary Roughnecks at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night.
In a game that saw 32 goals and 110 total shots, the Stealth showed they’re more than capable of going into a hostile crowd, winning a fast-paced, and action packed game in front of 11,563 fans. Assistant Captain Rhys Duch didn’t miss a beat, scoring a game-high 9 points (4G, 5A) while Tyler Digby and Tyler Hass added four points in the win.
“We didn’t have our legs in the first quarter,” said Head Coach Dan Perreault. “You can practice all you want but once you get into a high-tempo game, it’s a whole different feeling. The first quarter seemed like we were playing our first game of the year.”
“There were some nerves, especially with all the new guys,” said Duch. “We were excited to start the season and we put some pressure on ourselves because we expected to win and got the job done.”
Things were fast and furious right from the opening face-off as Calgary scored the first three goals of the game to take the early lead. The Stealth would answer with goals from Digby and Duch but the Roughnecks led at the end of the first quarter 5-2.
The second quarter saw nine total goals including five from Vancouver, who were down 9-4 before scoring three straight to go into the half 9-7.
“We told the guys they’ve had the first half to play together,” said Perreault. “Now let’s go after them and keep running. It was just a matter of time before we got our offense rolling. Our defense also helped us out with some timely goals.”
The second half is where the Stealth shined, outscoring the Riggers 11-6 including 6-0 in the third quarter. Led by some timely saves by goaltender Tyler Richards, Vancouver would score two goals in five seconds to tie the game at 9-9. The Stealth would take the lead for the first time in the game at the 8:18 mark of the quarter thanks to Joel McCready, who finished off a nice feed from Johnny Powless giving them a 10-9 lead. Three more goals after that including one from rookie Caleb Wiles, who scored his second of the game gave the Stealth a 13-9 lead after three quarters.
“It took us a little while to gel together,” said Digby. “Coming into the second half, we just stuck to the game plan and the ball started to go in the back of the net.”
Vancouver continued its high-powered offence with two goals in the first 2:12 of the final frame. Calgary would finally score to end the 11-0 run. The Roughnecks would cut the lead down to 16-13 but Duch showed why he’s one of the most clutch players in the league scoring his fourth goal of the game to seal the deal.
“Coming into Calgary, it’s a tough place to get a win,” said Duch. “It’s great for the team and great for all of our confidence levels. Our heads are in the right place and we’re ready to put on a show for our home fans next weekend.”
The Stealth will get ready for their home opener on Saturday, January 10 when they look to start the season with two straight wins as they welcome the Toronto Rock to the Langley Events Centre. The first 4500 fans receive a free Stealth Energy Towel courtesy of GlobalBC. Tickets are available at www.StealthLAX.com.
For details visit www.StealthLAX.com
NOTES: FINAL SCORE: Stealth 18 – Roughnecks 14, SHOTS ON GOAL: Stealth 48 – Roughnecks 62, LOOSE BALLS: Stealth 47 – Roughnecks 69, FACEOFFS: Stealth 12-34 – Roughnecks 22-34, POWERPLAY: Stealth 4-4 – Roughnecks 2-4, GAME MVP: Tyler Digby – 3 goals, 1 assist.
Click HERE for the game’s Box score.