The Washington Stealth (4-5) picked up their first home win of the season tonight in a 20-7 rout of the Colorado Mammoth (1-6) at the Comcast Arena at Everett. The Stealth scored the first goal of the night just over five minutes into the game, opening the flood gates for the highest-scoring effort for the team since the first round of the 2009 playoffs.
From start to finish, it was a complete team effort tonight for the Stealth; 17 players recorded a point and ten scored a goal. Goaltender Tyler Richards earned game MVP honors with 38 saves as the defense allowed just seven goals, a season-low. The Stealth completed a season sweep of the Mammoth, winning all three regular season meetings of 2011.
“Tonight, we played like the team I expected to see all season long,” said Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall after the game. “I think the big difference was in the transition game. We pushed the ball up the floor, opening up the offense and our defense applied a ton of pressure on [Colorado] as they looked to run.”
The Stealth transition game accounted for six goals from defensive players, including three goals from Jeff Moleski, his first career hat trick. The Stealth out shot the Mammoth 64-45.
With a 3-1 lead after the first quarter, the Stealth took complete control of the game in the second stanza. The Stealth allowed just one Mammoth goal and scored eight, including two apiece from Joel Dalgarno and Luke Wiles. Dalgarno finished the night with his first career hat trick.
Seven times the Stealth scored at least two goals in a row, fueled by another strong performance from Bob Snider at the face-off-circle. He went 17-for-31 at the dot and grabbed a team-high eleven loose balls. The Stealth won the loose ball battle 84-56.
“We got another spectacular effort out of Snider,” said Hall. Snider has won over 70% of his face-off attempts in four games. “After we scored, we would get the ball back and got on a run. From the first five minutes, we had them on their heels and they weren’t able to recover.”
Along with Moleski and Dalgarno, Rhys Duch and Lewis Ratcliff also recorded hat tricks and added one assist apiece. Wiles led all scorers with six points on two goals and four assists. Paul Rabil and Cam Sedgwick each had a goal and three assists, while Snider and defenseman Matt Beers each had three assists.
The Mammoth were led by Alex Gajic with three goals and an assist and his brother, Ilija, added a pair of goals. Colorado star forward John Grant Jr., was held goalless for the first time in 55 regular season games. He finished with two assists.
Mammoth goaltenders Matt King and Chris Levis combined for 44 saves in the loss.
The Stealth will return to action on March 5 after a week off for the All-Star break. The team will travel to Edmonton, to take on a Rush squad that handed the Stealth two losses just a week ago. The game will be broadcast live on the NLL Network at NLL.com.