The Vancouver Stealth (5-11) embark on a two game road trip to end their 2016 regular season schedule. The team is coming off consecutive wins to keep their playoff hopes alive and have to continue putting up victories if they want to make the playoffs.The Stealth knocked off the defending champion Saskatchewan Rush 14-12 last Saturday.
“I thought everybody worked hard and our effort was there right from the beginning of the game. That has to be the standard going forward into these next two road games against the Mammoth and Swarm,” said Stealth Head Coach Jamie Batley.
The Stealth will play back-to-back games for the first time this season, beginning On Friday night against the Colorado Mammoth at Pepsi Center. On Saturday, the final game of the regular season is against the Georgia Swarm at Infinite Energy Arena.
Friday, April 29- Vancouver Stealth @ Colorado Mammoth- 6:30pm PST (TSN2, TSN GO, TSN1410)
The Mammoth currently hold a 2-1 win advantage against the Stealth in the season series. In the last meeting on February 27, the Mammoth staged a fourth quarter comeback and got a last second goal from Adam Jones to win 11-10. In the standings, the Mammoth are locked in as the #2 seed in the West Division and will host either the Stealth or Roughnecks in a single game elimination round that would occur the weekend of May 6. For the Stealth, Friday night’s meeting is another must win contest if they want the third and final playoff spot.
“It is always loud and intense whenever we play them in their home arena. They have a solid team with a lot of offensive weapons and we have to play with the same level of intensity as we did in our last two games against Calgary and Saskatchewan,” said Logan Schuss.
Through three games in the series, Schuss leads all players in scoring with 7 goals and 12 assists, while Callum Crawford and Adam Jones both have 16 points against the Stealth. Crawford has been the offensive star for the Mammoth, as he leads the NLL with 75 assists and overall has tallied 107 points.
“We have to go into Colorado on Friday night and play one quarter at a time. I feel like we match-up very well against them, and if we stick to our game plan, should be a pretty competitive battle,” said Batley.
Saturday, April 30- Vancouver Stealth @ Georgia Swarm- 4:05pm PST (Fox Sports GO, TSN1410)
The one and only meeting of the year between the Stealth and Swarm occurs in game #18 for both squads. It is anything but an ordinary match-up, as playoff berths may be on the line for both. If the Stealth win on Friday in Colorado, they would need a victory against the Swarm and a Calgary loss to Toronto in order to clinch the #3 seed. For the Swarm, who sit third in the East Division, need a win against the Stealth or a Rochester loss to Saskatchewan in order to get into the post-season. The game will mark the one and only time the Stealth will play in a back-to-back situation this year.
“I feel like playing two games in two days is almost a bit of an advantage in the sense that we will already be in the flow of things and should be pretty sharp. There have been many times this season in the NLL where the team playing their second game of the weekend have come out on top,” said six year veteran Garrett Billings.
The Swarm enter winning three of their last four games and boast a record of 7-10. They have a high powered offense, which ranks second in league in goal scoring with 224 and are led by rookie Randy Staats, who has 88 points in 17 games. Shayne Jackson (74 points), Jesse King (74 points), and Johnny Powless (70 points) round out the offense.
“They have dangerous forwards that can put the ball in the net. We will have to do a good job at minimizing their looks and taking away time and space. Defensively, we have played extremely hard and have been working well as a unit these past two games and it needs to continue,” said Defense Coach Clay Richardson.