Colin Doyle registered eight points to lead the San Jose Stealth to a 13-8 win over the Portland Lumberjax at the Rose Garden Arena March 29. The game was a must-win for the Stealth, who lost to the Lumberjax the night before at the HP Pavilion. The Stealth sit just a half-game behind the Minnesota Swarm for the West Division’s fourth and final playoff spot.
At the start of the game, it was apparent the two teams were going to continue where they left off in San Jose. It was a physical game throughout the contest. The Stealth came out a bit too aggressive, taking three penalties in the opening frame. Portland took advantage, scoring on two extra-man opportunities. But goals by Tom Johnson, Doyle and Cam Sedgwick gave the Stealth a 3-2 advantage after one.
In the second quarter, the Stealth pulled away. Doyle scored his second of the day for a two-goal advantage. Portland answered with another power play goal, but the Stealth rattled off four straight to close out the first half. Johnson scored twice ad Eric Martin capped the run by scooping up a loose ball and taking it the length of the floor for a breakaway goal. Martin finished with a team-high nine loose balls and the Stealth held a 8-3 lead at the break.
The Lumberjax got within four goals three times in the third quarter, but the Stealth pulled away with three unanswered to close out the third. They had a 13-6 lead going into the fourth quarter and never looked back. Portland would score only twice in the fourth to give the Stealth the important 13-8 victory.
While Doyle was awarded the game’s MVP, one of the brightest stars of the day was Stealth goaltender Tyler Richards. Richards entered the game just over four minutes into the game. He allowed just one goal in over twenty-five minutes in the first half and made 22 saves. He finished the game with 43 saves on 49 shots faced.
Johnson finished with a hat trick for the Stealth. Jeff Zywicki and Cam Sedgwick each finished with two goals and two assists. Rhys Duch was credited with four assists.
Portland was led by Tim Campeau with three goals and an assist. Pete Jacobs scored two goals and assisted on two more. Matt Disher made 31 saves in the loss.
The Stealth square off with the team they are trying to catch in the West Division playoff race next weekend. The Minnesota Swarm come to town on April 3 for a 7:00pm battle. It is Fan Appreciation Night at the HP Pavilion with the first 2,500 receiving a Stealth t-shirt. Tickets are available by calling 877-MY-SJ-TIX or at www.sjstealth.com.