Matt Roik made 38 saves in goal and Jeff Zywicki led all players with six points as the San Jose Stealth picked up their first win of the season against the Rochester Knighthawks on January 18. After scoring just 17 goals in the first two games of the season, the Stealth nearly equaled that total with a 16-6 victory over the Knighthawks at the HP Pavilion.
In each of the two losses for the Stealth this season, they found themselves trailing by at least five goals and were forced to attempt a dramatic comeback. That was not the case against Rochester, as the Stealth dominated the first quarter with six unanswered goals. Rhys Duch got things started just 2:29 into the game, scoring on a power play with assists from Ryan Marshall and Mike Kirk. Duch finished with a goal and four assists. The power play unit saw significant time on the floor, with Rochester being called for 24 penalties resulting in 20 extra man opportunities for San Jose. They converted on eight of those opportunities, the most power play goals by a Stealth team since moving to San Jose in 2004.
In the remainder of the first quarter, the Stealth continued to roll. Frank Resetarits scored at the 3:09 mark to give San Jose a 2-0 lead. Colin Doyle followed that with his 350th career goal 5:34 into the opening frame. Fourteen seconds later, Zywicki scored the first of his five goals on the night. He was also credited with one assist in the game. Defenseman Kyle Sorensen finished off the first quarter scoring with a pair of nifty goals that put the Stealth up 6-0 as the quarter came to a close.
Rochester finally got on the board 1:49 into the second quarter thanks to a goal from one of the newest Knighthawks, Stu Hill. San Jose followed that with a 4-0 run, including three power play goals. Zywicki scored two of those and rookie Kyle Hartzell finished on a two-on-one breakaway for his first career NLL goal. After the 4-0 run, the Stealth held a 10-1 advantage and went into the halftime break with a 10-3 lead after a pair of Rochester goals to close out the half.
The Knighthawks scored the first goal of the second half to cut the Stealth lead to 10-4, but that was as close as they would come. Yet another run from the Stealth put the game out of reach, this time five unanswered made the score 15-4. During the run, Alex Turner scored on the power play for his first career NLL goal and Paul Rabil converted on a penalty shot for his first career goal.
The teams traded goals in the fourth quarter to make the final score 16-6. Zywicki’s six points were a game-high. Colin Doyle (2g, 3a) and Rhys Duch (1g, 4a) each finished with five points. Alex Turner scored twice and assisted on two more for four points. Matt Roik earned game MVP honors with 38 saves in 50 minutes of action. Aaron Bold came off the bench and kept Rochester scoreless in the final nine minutes of action with eleven saves.
The Stealth travel to Calgary on January 24 for a rematch of the season opener in which the Roughnecks handed the Stealth a 12-10 loss at the HP Pavilion. Game time from the Pengrowth Saddledome is slated for 6:30pm (PST). The game can be seen live on the NLL Network at NLL.com.
The Stealth come home on January 31 to take on the Edmonton Rush at the HP Pavilion. That game is scheduled to start at 12:30pm. Tickets are available by calling 877 MY-SJ-TIX or at Ticketmaster.com.