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Division Rivals Clash at the HP Pavilion March 14

03/12/2009, 2:20pm PDT
By Washington Stealth
The San Jose Stealth are back from the National Lacrosse League All-Star break and ready to square off with West Division rival Colorado on March 14 at the HP Pavilion.  It is the second meeting between the teams this season; the Stealth handed the Mammoth a 14-9 loss at the HP Pavilion on February 21.

This week’s matchup with Colorado has big implications in the West Division Standings.  The Mammoth currently sit in third place with a 4-4 record.  They are just two games behind the Calgary Roughnecks for the Division lead.  San Jose is 3-6 this season and in fifth place, just one game behind the Minnesota Swarm for the fourth and final playoff spot.

The Stealth look to rebound from losses to Boston and New York the last time they were in action.  Boston defeated the Stealth 16-10 on February 28; the largest margin of defeat for San Jose this season.  The following night, the Stealth lost a 15-14 heartbreaker to New York at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

The Stealth are led this season by All-Star Colin Doyle who is third in the NLL with 58 points (20g, 38a).  He is coming off a performance against New York where he posted a season-high seven goals.  Rookie of the Year Candidate Rhys Duch has been impressive in his first NLL season, recording 47 points (17g, 30a).  All-Star Jeff Zywicki has 42 points (19g, 23a) through nine games.  The trio leads a Stealth offense that is third in the NLL with just over 12.5 goals per game.  

The Stealth defense has battled some inconsistency as of late, allowing 15 or more goals in each of their last four losses.  Starting goaltender Matt Roik struggled during the two-game losing streak, but still ranks in the top six in goals against average (6th, 10.41) and save percentage (3rd, .786).

Colorado is also coming off a two-game losing skid dating back to February 22.  After losing to the Stealth on February 21, they traveled to Edmonton where they suffered a 10-9 loss the following night.  They will be well-rested coming into San Jose as they had a bye week prior to last weekend’s All-Star break.

They are led offensively by All-Stars Brian Langtry and Gavin Prout.  Langtry leads the team with 18 goals and 38 points.  Prout is the team leader with 23 assists and is right behind Langtry with 34 points.  Former Stealth player Gary Rosyski has 24 points on the year.

On the defensive end, All-Star Andrew Leyshon has emerged as one of the League’s top goaltenders for the Mammoth.  He is second in the NLL with a 9.96 goals against average and tied for fourth with a .784 save percentage.

This weekend’s game is the beginning of a three-game homestand for the Stealth, and it couldn’t come at a better time.  The Stealth are 3-1 at the friendly confines of the HP Pavilion and 0-5 away from home.  Four of the seven remaining games on the schedule will be played at home.

The opening face-off for the game is scheduled for 12:30pm.  Prior to the game, fans can enjoy the NLL and Reebok “Play Lacrosse” festivities in the HP Pavilion parking lot.  Family four-packs are available for the game; tickets include four lower bowl seats, four hot dogs and four sodas for just $80.  Tickets can be purchased by calling 877-MY-SJ-TIX or by visiting www.sjstealth.com.

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