The Washington Stealth played their first home game of the 2011 season tonight, but it wasn’t the homecoming they were hoping for as the Calgary Roughnecks (2-0) handed the defending champs their first loss of the season by the score of 13-11. Lewis Ratcliff scored five goals and added two assists in the loss.
Coming off an emotional overtime victory last night, the Stealth got off to a rough start, falling behind 6-1 after the first quarter of play. They were able to come back, however, outscoring the Roughnecks 6-2 in the second to draw even at the halftime break.
Ratcliff had a first half hat-trick, pacing an offense that struggled to find their groove throughout the evening.
“Aside from a few good moments, our fundamentals and execution were terrible,” said Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall following the game. “We had too many turnovers and collectively we made too many mistakes.”
The teams were knotted at 10 heading into the fourth quarter. Third-year forward Rhys Duch gave the Stealth an 11-10 lead with a highlight reel goal in the opening minutes of the final stanza, but it was the last time the Stealth would find the net. A pair of long-range goals for Calgary put the Roughnecks back on top, and they added an empty net goal in the closing seconds to give them the 13-11 victory.
Ratcliff’s seven points led all scorers. Duch added two goals and four assists, giving him a league-best 12 points on the year. Luke Wiles was credited with two goals and an assist.
Paul Rabil collected a game-high nine loose balls and goaltender Matt Roik, starting his second game in as many days, repeatedly kept the Stealth in the game with 34 saves in the loss.
Calgary was led by Dane Dobbie and Jeff Shattler with a three goals and an assist apiece. Daryl Veltman and Scott Ranger each added a goal and three assists. Goaltender Mike Poulin won his second game of the season with 33 saves.
The Stealth falls to 1-1 on the season. They return home on Friday, January 12 for another West Division game against the Minnesota Swarm. Tickets for the game are on sale and can be purchased by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.