Eleven Stealth players scored a goal and fourteen registered a point as San Jose cruised to a 20-16 victory over the Portland Lumberjax in the Rose Garden Arena. Tyler Richards made 40 saves in goal for the Stealth, who play the winner of the Calgary/Colorado game in the West Division Finals.
One year ago, the Lumberjax ended the Stealth’s postseason with an 18-16 win at the HP Pavilion. The Stealth returned the favor on the Jax home floor in a big way. The 20 goals by the Stealth are the most scored in a playoff game since 1994, when Buffalo beat Philadelphia 26-14 in the MILL Championship game.
The Lumberjax scored the first goal three minutes into the game. The Stealth answered 19 seconds later when Andrew Biers won the ensuing face-off and scored unassisted. Colin Doyle scored on the power play less than a minute later and the Stealth never looked back. San Jose led 6-4 after the first quarter and 11-7 at the half.
The Stealth offense continued to click in the third quarter, netting seven more goals. Rhys Duch scored three times in the third quarter alone, as the Stealth extended their lead to 18-11. Doyle and Curtis Hodgson scored in the fourth to complete the 20-16 victory.
Doyle led the Stealth with nine points on two goals and seven assists. Jeff Zywicki earned the game’s MVP honors with three goals and four assists. Eric Martin was the spark plug for the Stealth, picking up a game-high 16 loose balls and adding a goal and three assists out of the back door. Duch finished with six points (3g, 3a) and Cam Sedgwick had five points (2g, 3a). Frank Resetarits recorded his first hat trick of the season with some timely goals, and added a pair of assists.
Portland was led by Brodie Merrill and Derek Malawsky with seven points (2g, 5a). Goaltender Matt Flindell made 22 saves in the loss.
The Calgary Roughnecks take on the Colorado Mammoth May 3 at the Pengrowth Saddledome. The game’s winner will play the Stealth next weekend. That game, and all the games in the NLL Playoffs can be seen on the NLL Network at NLL.com.