The San Jose Stealth travel to the East Coast for a pair of games against two of the top three teams in the National Lacrosse League’s East Division. The Stealth face off with East #2 Boston Blazers on February 28 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Mass., followed the next night by a clash with the New York Titans at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
The Stealth (3-4) moved into fourth place in the West Division last weekend with a 14-9 victory over the Colorado Mammoth. That game was the third win for the Stealth at the friendly confines of the HP Pavilion this season, but the Stealth have yet to earn a win on the road. They are 0-3 away from San Jose, and it doesn’t get much farther from home than the cross-country trek about to take place this weekend.
A win over Boston (6-3) would bring the Stealth to .500 for the first time this season. And the matchup features a number of intriguing subplots. First of all, the game features two of the NLL’s top players in the Stealth’s Colin Doyle and Boston’s Dan Dawson. The pair was picked by NLL Insider as the number one and two players in the league, respectively, before the start of the season. Neither player has disappointed in terms of point production, with Dawson currently second in the League with 60 points and Doyle in fifth with 44.
Secondly, the league’s leading Rookie of the Year Candidates will square off for the first time in their young NLL careers. Daryl Veltman, the first overall pick in the 2008 NLL Entry Draft, leads all rookies with 42 points in nine games for the Blazers. Rhys Duch, the third overall pick, has emerged as the third scoring option for the Stealth and trails Veltman by just six points in two fewer games played.
Third, the Stealth will face All-Star goaltender Anthony Cosmo for the first time since he was traded from San Jose last offseason. Cosmo continues to be a force between the pipes, with a 10.30 goals against average and a .777 save percentage. His replacement in San Jose, Matt Roik, has proved a worthy successor for the Stealth, currently sitting at second in the league with a 9.15 goals against average and third in the NLL with a .802 save percentage.
Boston enters the contest on a four-game win streak, including a pair of wins last weekend over two West Division squads that handed the Stealth losses earlier in the season. Boston won 16-12 in Minnesota on February 20 then traveled to Calgary and edged the Roughnecks 11-10.
The second game of the road trip won’t get any easier, as the Stealth take on the New York Titans (5-4). They are led by Casey Powell, who is third in the league with 52 points. The Titans are hungry for a win, coming off a 15-7 loss to Rochester on February 21. They play the Calgary Roughnecks on February 28 before facing the Stealth.
Both games can be viewed on the NLL Network at NLL.com. Keep track of every move the Stealth makes as a running diary of the East Coast trip will be posted throughout the weekend right here at www.sjstealth.com.